Tiger Woods says the British Open represents his best chance of winning another major championship, and with some "cleaner golf" this might be the week be breaks his decade-plus major drought. He added that 4- and 5-irons are running out beyond 50 yards; during a practice round Monday, Woods hit his 3-iron 333 yards off the 18th tee. I know if I play well I can compete with those guys but just because I feel a bit better about it doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to play well.
"I love playing here, this type of links golf, or a style of links golf down on the Aussie sand belt", said Woods, who will be the U.S. Team captain at The Presidents Cup next year at Royal Melbourne.
Woods is returning to competition in some three weeks after sharing fourth place in hosting the Quicken Loans National and also admitting he has "work to do" over the next three days of official practice if he is to end a five-year winless drought.
It therefore comes as little surprise to see the 42-year-old American wearing a smile as wide as the Atlantic when he talks excitedly about the challenges that lie ahead as he prepares to take on the fearsome par-71 Carnoustie layout in Thursday's opening round. But a links-style golf course, you can roll the ball.
In the middle of a dry British summer, Tiger Woods summed up Carnoustie best.
"There are maybe three or four holes out there that's one way or another, and that's all going to depend on how I'm hitting certain clubs that day, on how aggressive I want to be".
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"Each tournament I keep coming back to I keep feeling a little bit better because I'm starting to play some golf again", he said. "I feel very confident with the way I'm rolling the golf ball, but the greens were a little bit slower yesterday and I'm sure they'll be a little bit slower today with a bit of moisture".
The man who dominated the past until personal and physical problems intervened to bring that to a juddering halt is back at the Open for the first time since he missed the cut in 2015. Greg (Norman) was there at Birkdale (in 2008) I think at 54-ish. Even when Woods was playing poorly due to injury, the galleries flocked and all the players took note of how he was going.
Woods's putter was a get-out-of-jail-free card in the first few starts of his comeback when his long game was understandably rusty. "It's going to be an interesting test to see which clubs we're going to be using off the tees, and a lot of it is dependent on which way the wind blows". It's just hard to keep the ball in play. US Open champion Brooks Koepka might hit as many as nine drivers.
Rory McIlroy - McIlroy hasn't played almost as poorly of late as people think.
Tiger Woods of the U.S. during a news conference. "I feel a bit more comfortable on this stage than I have in previous years, which is nice".