Tiger Woods: I thought I might never play the Open again

Annette Crawford
July 17, 2018

And given Woods has not played an Open Championship links venue in three years, he insisted that was no disadvantage to him ahead of what will be his 20th Open. Instead of being among the first on the tee for practice, he didn't show up at Carnoustie until his news conference just before lunch. Most players went through their four years of college and then tried to qualify for the tour.

"I feel the game is in really good form this week, " Johnson said Tuesday. And there's something about links golf that inspires him.

"I think that's the beauty of it", Justin Rose said Tuesday. He says he has a special affinity with links courses. "You know you're not going to get the most flawless of bounces".

Woods has said that it has been awesome to see how Carnoustie, the course of this year's open, hasn't changed during his career and added that he has missed playing and competing at the oldest major championship in golf. His next two trips to Carnoustie were a little more productive - a T-7 at the 1999 Open and a T-12 in 2007.

Might this be his best shot at winning another major?

The American, 42, is playing his first Open Championship since 2015 after recovering from back fusion surgery.

"The great thing about this golf course is you can't take all the trouble out, you are going to have to take some risk. That's just the way it goes", Woods continued. But a links-style golf course, you can roll the ball.

Carnoustie Golf Links is one of the oldest golf locales on the planet, with some version of the game being played on the site all the way back in the 16th century.

That said, distance is everything at Carnoustie this year, which Woods discovered when he arrived Sunday.

How far the ball travels in the warm, dry air is not the issue. The next day, his drive was a few yards short of the burn.

Using a variety of irons, he practiced the low-trajectory run-up shots needed to navigate this unfamiliar style of course, each time trying to hit that 100-meter sign, no matter the club loft. For the week, Woods hit just a single driver, choosing to play irons off the tees for positioning and wearing out the field with some incredible iron play to the greens. The most brilliant golfer of all time trying to solve The Open's toughest riddle.

"There's not a lot of opportunities to hit the driver just because the ball is going to be rolling 80 yards", Woods said.

"But then it is going to be one of those weeks where you will not see the guys hitting woods off the tee given the fairways are so quick as it going to be all about keeping the ball in front of you". Even hitting sometimes 4- and 5-irons, they've been running 50, 60 yards. That has been too much club off the tee. Instead, most of his shots are with a 3-iron or 4-iron.

Reed was familiar with conditions the year Woods won at Hoylake, even though he was only 15.

Perhaps that strategy will work well for Woods, who famously won the 2006 Open at a burned-out and baked Royal Liverpool. It was not only dry but extremely hot, and Reed was in rain trousers because he didn't like wearing shorts.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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