Woods praises R&A ahead of Open Championship

(TPC Potomac, Maryland:) Tiger Woods ended his Quicken Loans National campaign singling out the R&A for special praise ahead of his next event, the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Woods will have a fortnight’s break from competition before venturing to London for a TaylorMade photo shoot with Rory McIlroy five days ahead of teeing-up in the July 19th starting Open.

Tiger Woods (Credit: PGA Tour) Tiger Woods (Credit: PGA Tour)

It will be Woods’ third Open at Carnoustie having finished T7 in 1999 behind Scotland’s Paul Lawrie and then T12 in 2007 behind Ireland’s Padraig Harrington.

Woods has won three Open titles in his career, two at St. Andrews in 2000 and 2005 and a very emoitional third Claret Jug in 2006 at Royal Liverpool.

He will be returning to Carnoustie for the first time since his infamous opening tee shot went out-of-bounds left into the Barry Burn that runs the entire length of the opening fairway but for this year’s Open it is being classed as a lateral hazard.

Following a final round 66 at the Quicken Loans, which handed Woods a superb share of fourth place on 11-under par, the long-time World No. 1 was asked his thoughts about returning to Carnoustie for what will be Woods’ first Open appearance since 2015.

“Carnoustie is an unbelievable driving golf course as you have to drive the ball well but also it is not your traditional in-out golf course as there is a lot of different angles,” he said.

“So there is a lot of different cross winds so you have to move the golf ball both ways there efficiently.”

In fact, Woods first played Carnoustie in the 1995 Scottish Open as an amateur via a sponsor’s invitation before making his Open Championship a week later just down the road at St. Andrews.

“My introduction to links golf could not have been any better as I played the Scottish Open at Carnoustie and the very next week I played the British at St. Andrews,” he said.

“So, that was not a bad way to start off my links career.”

“But the year we played the 1999 Open was…I think I made one birdie on the weekend and I finished about three or four back of the play-off and it was ridiculous how hard it was.”

“I don’t know if the course is going to be set-up like that but you just never know as it’s been warm over there, and the grass has probably been growing.”

“That is one of the neat things about playing an Open Championship as they don’t really care what par is. They just let it…whatever ‘Mother Nature’ has in store that is what type of Open it is. If it’s dry, it’s dry.”

“They don’t try and manufacture an Open.”

One wonders if his remarks could could be construed as a thinly-veiled dig at the USGA following the fiasco in setting-up Shinnecock Hills and venue for the recent US Open.