By Mark Lamport-Stokes
LOS ANGELES, Nov 20 (Reuters) Holder Tiger Woods will be bidding for his 10th title of the year at this week's PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Hawaii, a tournament he effectively owns.
The American world number one has a near-perfect track record on the Poipu Bay Golf Course on Kauai's southern shore, having sealed victory there six times in seven starts.
''You play enough times here, you get very familiar with the golf course,'' Woods said after cruising home by seven shots with an eight-under-par 64 in last year's event.
''Most of the holes really suit my eye. For some reason, I've just kind of put it together every time I've come here.
''I feel comfortable on this golf course,'' added Woods, who finished second when he made his debut in the elite four-man tournament in 1997.
''I've played it in different wind conditions: the Kona, the Trades. I've played in stroke play, I've played in match play.'' The 30-year-old will be eager to return to the winner's circle after losing out to Ireland's Padraig Harrington in a sudden-death playoff for the Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Japan yesterday.
Chasing his third consecutive title in Miyazaki, Woods wasted a three-shot lead with six holes to play before the Irishman sealed victory with a birdie at the second extra hole.
''I had my opportunities but I was struggling all day with my swing,'' the 12-times major champion told reporters.
NICE POSITIVE ''I was just trying to hang in there but I gave myself a chance to win and that's a nice positive.'' The PGA Grand Slam of Golf brings together the winners of the year's four majors but this week's field has a lop-sided look to it with Woods having triumphed at both the British Open and PGA Championship.
Joining Woods at Poipu Bay are 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir, US Open winner Geoff Ogilvy of Australia and 2003 US Open champion Jim Furyk.
Canadian Weir earned a late invitation after Phil Mickelson, winner of this year's Masters, opted not to play.
The American left-hander, who won the 2004 title after closing with a scintillating 59, has made a habit of winding down his playing schedule for the season after the PGA Championship in August.
Furyk was previously added to the field after finishing on top of the 2006 major champions points list.
American Furyk, winner of the 2003 Grand Slam of Golf, tied for 22nd at the Masters, was joint runner-up in the U.S. Open, finished fourth at the British Open and shared 29th place in the PGA Championship.
The 36-hole stroke-play event starts tomorrow.
REUTERS SAM HT1758