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Tiger Woods plays a shot on the 2nd during the first practice session at the 147th Open Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland on the 15th July. 19659005] (Photo: ANDY BUCHANAN, AFP / Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – An enchanted Tiger Woods returned to the beloved old land on Sunday for the first time since 2015.
After 3:45 p.m. local time, Woods reached the first tee in the venerable Carnoustie to begin the preparation of the 147th edition of the Open Championship. It will be the first time in three years that he will compete for the Claret Jug, the coveted silver trophy he has won three times before.
"Getting here to Carnoustie is special," said Woods, winner of the Open. in 2000 and 2005 in St. Andrews and in 2006 in Hoylake. From his initial experience with golf links, he tied for 48th as an amateur at the 1995 Scottish Open in Carnoustie, Woods has loved the use of old soil to quell the high winds and the imagination and creativity that come into play.
The first time I come here as a fan to be back now, it's amazing how this course does not change, "said Woods, who tied for seventh place in the 1999 Carnoustie Open and tied for 12th in the world. Open 2007. "It's right in front of you. It's hard. It's probably the hardest one we played in the entire rotation.
"Right now, the fairways are faster than the greens, I'm sure they'll probably accelerate the speed of the greens, but I'm sure it will be one of those weeks when the fairways are a little faster than the greens. "
That put a smile on his face, the difficulty and challenge he expects. Little rain has fallen in this area for the last two months and a heat wave in these parts has turned brown and has maintained rough roughness.
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That poses challenges for everyone, especially with strong winds expected from the North Sea. During his hybrid practice round, where he played holes 1-4 and 15-18, Woods and caddy Joe LaCava spent more time trying to determine how much roll the concrete streets will give.
For example, Woods hit 7- plate from the tee on the third hole, a par 4 of 350 yards. He hit a 3-iron from the tee at 15, a par 4 of 472 yards, another 3-iron from the tee at 18, a par 4 of 499 yards. Iron 7 traveled 230 yards, the 3 irons 335 yards.
"That's what's going to be important, how hot you want the ball to enter the fairways," Woods said. "You can really make the ball roll 60, 70, 80 yards, but is it really worth it or not? It's a risk reward golf course and the way it's set up now, it's going to be very narrow because it's very fast
Tiger Woods on the 4th tee during the first practice session at the 147th Open Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland, on July 15. (Photo: ANDY BUCHANAN, AFP / Getty Images)
"We do not have the opportunity to see this company so often. It was like this in 2000 and so in Hoylake. It's just one of these weeks when I do not see many men sticking timbers on the shirts simply because it's so fast. He's just going to try to keep the ball in front of you. It will be a lot of fun. "
Woods has been in a good mood since he landed on Saturday morning after his red-eye flight over the pond, running a clinic at Wembley Stadium before heading to Wimbledon to see the women's singles final.
His enjoyment continued after his arrival at Carnoustie, he is making his 12th start of the year and comes from a fourth place draw at Quicken Loans National three weeks ago. third top 10 of the year in which he climbed to the 69th place in the official world ranking after starting 2018 at 656th place. The betting rooms imagine their chances anywhere from 20-1 to 28-1 to win. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is the favorite at 12-1
"I have a few more days to work on some things and have the feeling of playing this type of golf again," Woods said. "Probably the most difficult thing when we come here is the césp ed and how tight it is, how difficult it can be, and playing the ball on the floor is different. It is something that you feel.
"That's the good thing about coming to links courses, we play it the way it is, it's not faked and it's right in front of us, it's been a while and I've missed it"