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Tiger Woods ready to play the "biggest Open Championship we've ever had"

Tiger Woods teeing off on the 18th hole at St Andrews
Tiger Woods tees off on the 18th hole during a practice round prior to The 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course on July 10, 2022. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

With 15 majors to his name and 82 PGA victories, Tiger Woods is arguably the greatest golfer in the history of the game. And this week, more than ever, it is all about history. The 150th Open Championship is being held on the hallowed links of St Andrews in Scotland, the famous Home of Golf.

During his pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday, Tiger Woods said: "It feels more historic than it normally has. And it's hard to believe that because we are coming back to the home of golf. It is history every time we get a chance to play here.

"It's hard to believe, it's been 150 years we've played this tournament. And it's incredible, the history behind it, the champions that have won here. As I said, it's hard to believe it's more historic, but it really is. It does feel like that. This does feel like it's the biggest Open Championship we've ever had."

Tiger Woods tees off on the 15th hole during a practice round at St Andrews
Tiger Woods tees off on the 15th hole during a practice round prior to The 150th Open at St Andrews on July 10, 2022. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

With three Open titles under his belt - two of which came at St Andrews - Woods is ready for the challenge ahead, although doesn't underestimate how tough the course can play: "...even with the advancements in technology, this golf course still stands the test of time. It's still very difficult, and it's obviously weather dependent. You get the winds like we did today, it's a helluva test.

"It's amazing the ingenuity that they had then that this golf course has stood the test of time to the best players. And as long as we've gotten collectively as a field, this golf course is still a challenge."

Will Tiger win this week?

  • Yes

  • No

After suffering multiple legs injuries during a car crash in February 2021, Woods feared he may never walk again, yet alone tee it up in another golf tournament: "For the most part of my rehab I was just I was hoping that I could walk again, you know, walk normal and have a normal life and maybe play a little hit-and-giggle golf with my son or my friends at home.

"But lo and behold, I've played championship golf this year. And once I realised that I could possibly play at a high level, my focus was to get back here at St Andrews to play in this championship being, as I said, it's the most historic one we've ever had. I just didn't want to miss this Open here at the home of golf.

"This has meant so much to me. This is where I completed the career grand slam. At the time I had the record in scoring in all four major championships. So it meant a lot to me. This venue has meant a lot."

Regards his chances this week, although things have changed physically for Woods, he knows St Andrews offers him a fantastic opportunity to compete: "Well, my body certainly can get better, but realistically, not a whole lot. It's been through a lot, and at 46 you don't quite heal as well as you do at 26.

"So it is what it is. Just lucky enough to, in our sport, to be able to play as long as we are able to play late into the 40s, especially on links golf courses like this, you can continue into your 50s. We saw Tom have it on his putter to win late in his 50s.

"So it can be done. It just takes a lot of knowledge and understanding of how to play this type of golf. And with the fairways being fast and firm, it allows players who are older to run the ball out there and have a chance."

As for those rumours about Woods retiring this week, he shot those down during an interview with Sky Sports: “Who, me? Retire?! No."

However, Woods is fully aware his body might not let him compete at another St Andrews Open after this week: "I don't know how many Open Championships I have left here at St Andrews, but I wanted this one. It started here for me in '95, and if it ends here in '22, it does. If it doesn't, it doesn't. If I get the chance to play one more, it would be great, but there's no guarantee."

Tiger Woods begins his quest for a 16th major at 2.59pm GMT on Thursday 14 July 2022, playing alongside US Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick and Max Homa.