Tiger Woods' winning streak came to an end in China but he's got plenty to aim for in Japan.
Woods will be looking for a third straight victory at the US$1.7 million (Ђ1.33 million) Dunlop Phoenix tournament when the richest event on the Japanese tour starts Thursday.
On Sunday, Woods failed to win a stroke-play event for the first time since July 9, finishing two shots behind South Korea's Yang Yong-eun in the HSBC Champions.
The loss ended his streak of six stroke-play victories, dating to his runner-up finish to Trevor Immelman on July 9 in the Western Open.
Woods, won the previous two tournaments here, said Wednesday the Phoenix Country Club course could present some new challenges this year.
"The rough is higher this year than I've seen it the three other times I've played here," said Woods. "It will be a very difficult test but I'm really looking forward to teeing up tomorrow to see if I can win this title again."
Japan's Masashi "Jumbo" Ozaki won the tournament three straight times from 1994 to 1996 and Woods will be looking to match that record this year.
Woods, who has won two majors this year, said the key to winning the Dunlop Phoenix will be consistency, reports AP.
"Last week I had two good rounds and two indifferent rounds," he said. "In the two indifferent rounds, I made too many silly mistakes. Hopefully I can play well on all four days this time."
The 2006 Dunlop Phoenix field has 84 players from 13 countries including Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who won the European Order of Merit title for the first time last month, and David Howell of England, third on the European Tour rankings.