July 11, 2015

Tiger begins preparation for Open Championship

Tiger Woods arrived in St. Andrews, Scotland, on Saturday to begin preparation for next week’s 144th Open Championship at the famed Old Course. A three-time winner of the Claret Jug, Woods previously won at St. Andrews in 2000 and 2005, and at Royal Liverpool in 2006.

Woods played three holes — Nos. 16, 17 and 18 — with five local junior golfers as part of a Nike training camp. He expected firm, fast conditions — trademarks of the Old Course — but was caught off guard.

“I was shocked,” Tiger said. “I had seen photos of it a month ago. It was bone dry. It looked like it was going to be one of those dust bowls again; hard, fast, like the years I’ve played St. Andrews. It’s changed. They got big rain and a lot of sun.”

Tiger said he will have to adjust his game plan the next few days, especially around the greens. He said it’s the first time he can remember making ball marks on the putting surfaces.

According to weather reports, the Old Course is not expected to firm up. The forecast calls for cool temperatures and rain.

Woods is coming off a tie for 32nd two weeks ago at The Greenbrier Classic. It’s the best he’s hit the ball all year. He spent most of this week practicing in the Bahamas because the courses near his home in Jupiter, Florida, have been closed for reseeding.

Tiger will play his first practice round Sunday. The championship begins Thursday, July 16.