Tiger Woods made it through both rounds of the JP McManus Pro-Am this week in Limerick, Ireland. Considering his last professional appearance was a withdrawal from the PGA Championship nearly two months ago, the 46-year-old is in high hopes.
After shooting a rusty 77 on Monday, Woods rebounded with a respectable 74 on Tuesday. Yes, he finished tied for 39th out of 50 players in the field. But one of the golfers he tied with at +7 was actually U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick.
Following the round, Woods spoke with reporters about his health and excitement about playing in the upcoming Open Championship at the Old Course at St Andrews from July 14-17.
“This is a pretty historical Open we’re going to be playing. I’m lucky enough to be a past champion who has won there and wants to play there again,” Woods said. “I don’t know when they are ever going to go back, so I want to be able to give it at least one more run at a high level.”
Woods won the 2000 and 2005 Open Championships at St Andrews by a combined 13 strokes during his prime. He missed the cut at both the 2010 and 2015 editions of the event. He has been preparing as hard as possible to try and capture his fourth Claret Jug overall and 16th career major on the PGA Tour next week.
“It’s been hard, but it’s been worth it. There have been some very difficult days and some days which moving off the couch is a hell of a task,” Woods said. “But that’s just the way it is.”
He continued: “I have a long week ahead of me and all of next week to train as hard as we can each and every day.”
Tiger Woods Backs Decision to Skip U.S. Open
It was a difficult decision for Tiger Woods to bypass the 122nd U.S. Open last month. But it was the right one in order to rest his body for the upcoming Open Championship.
“The plan was to play the U.S. Open, but physically I wasn’t able to do that,” he said. “[There was] no way physically I could have done that. I had some issues physically with my leg and it would have put playing in the Open Championship in jeopardy. There was no reason to do that.”
Woods stated the importance of playing at The Old Course back in April after finishing 47th at The Masters. He said he would be ready to play, and it seems like he is a man of his word.
“I am looking forward to St Andrews – that is near and dear to my heart,” Woods said in Butler Cabin. “I’ve won two Opens there. It’s the home of golf and my favorite course in the world. I will be there for that one.”