Tiger laughs at rival snub for The Open

Posted by on July 16, 2019  /   Posted in golf reviews

The walk, the practice sessions and even the delivery during his press conferences.

Where once a spiky intensity was burned, he now sees his inquisitors confronted with something similar to rapprochement.

Where he once did not give anything away, Woods seems to be more open to let us in. now and again. Maybe he's tired of the fight, or maybe he's just relieved to still be of interest.

In anticipation of the 148th Open Championship on Royal Portrush Tuesday, a relaxed, more reflective Woods was asked if he was in one of the local knowledge of Portrush's local Graeme McDowell or Northern Irish natives Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke. Or even Ricky Elliott, caddy of world number 1 Brooks Koepka, and another born and raised in the seaside town on the north coast of Northern Ireland.

"Tell a funny story," Woods said, explaining how he had beaten Koepka to congratulate him on another good finish at the US Open. "And I said: & # 39; Hey dude, do you mind if I got along and play a practice round [at Portrush]. I haven't heard anything."

READ: The Open: Why a sense of humor and cornea are the key to caddiesREAD: Woods & # 39; 10-year plan to overcome Jack Nicklaus

& # 39; Incredible golf course & # 39;

Woods beamed, satisfied with his joke, reporters chuckled, glad she was a nugget.

The 43-year-old golfer explained how often he went to Ireland to fish and play golf, with people like the late Payne Stewart and Mark O & # 39; Meara, but he admitted that he had never so far north (Portrush is in Northern Ireland, which is still part of the UK).

Asked if he had tasted Guinness – the dark black stout famous in this part of the world – Woods did not say this week. "In the past? Mmm, mmm."

Woods described Royal Portrush as "beautiful" and an "incredible golf course", adding that it was "great" that the Open has not been played here since 1951.

He has missed or covered up the fact that political and social conflicts – the infamous "Troubles", of which much hope is a thing of the past since the Good Friday agreement of 1998 – are the reason that the province has been overlooked for so long for the oldest major of golf.

Visit CNN.com/Sport for more news, features, and video & # 39; s

Cut off from Koepka

Wood-chewed chewing gum and occasionally slowly bent over a Drink cup during his quiet morning walk session among the dunes of the dramatic connecting area of ​​Portrush.

Woods, triple champion, won his last Open title at Hoylake near Liverpool in 2006 in England, but he sent shock waves around Carnoustie last summer because he was briefly the lead went through the final round during his comeback year of the spinal fusion operation.

His remarkable Masters victory in April, a first major for 11 years and 15th in total, was the final confirmation of the 43-year-old's career is somewhat on the right track.

Woods struggled in the next PGA Championship and US Open, revealing Tuesday that the Masters took a lot from him – "that golf course puts so much pressure on the system" – and admitted that it's "hard to believe I got it pulled "off. "READ: Koepka sets & # 39; double digit & # 39; major target & # 39;

But Koepka's telephone silence speaks volumes.

The impressive Koepka has won four of its last nine majors and stands this season second to two more, also behind Woods in Augusta, so he knows all too well that on the right track, in the right week, Woods can be a major threat.

Woods, however, has good visibility on the changeable weather forecast this week, colder temperatures braking his back, rescued from the edge by spinal fusion surgery two years ago.

He is also not cooked on the golf course after he recently visited Thailand with his family in Thailand

"It is not as sharp as I would like it to be now," Woods said with white tape on the second finger of his right hand and a bracelet with red, white and blue beads next to his silver watch on the left.

& # 39; Art to playing links golf & # 39;

At least Woods is not the only one who cannot be accused of exaggerating things.

Koepka admitted that the only time he practices is for major tournaments. "Regular tournaments, I don't practice," he said, with a sparkle that most golf enthusiasts would like to see. "If you've seen me on TV, I'll play golf."

He added ominously that the second arrival in two of the three majors was not good enough. "Finishing the second sucks," he said. He won't like this stat – since 1986 only Woods has won the Open as world number 1.

But despite his rolling years and physical weaknesses, Woods comforts in the performance of Tom Watson, who is so close to winning the Open on Turnberry went on 59, or Greg Norman, who was 53 when he tied for third at Royal Birkdale in 2008.

"There is an art to play left golf," Woods said, referring to the kind rolling courses along the coast between sand dunes that were used to organize the Open Championship.

"Players cannot touch the ball far enough for the golf ball to run there. By controlling the ball in the air to control it on the ground, older players can get a chance to do well in it. Open Championship. "

Woods unveiled in the run-up to the Open that he had risen in Florida at 1 am to acclimatize before coming to Portrush.

The body clock can be rewired, but Woods knows the clock is ticking his career.

But where once a question like: "how are you going to celebrate if you win the Claret Jug?" may have been shot, the questioner may have had a deadly look, the newest Woods model just smiled along

"I have a few days to work on that part," he chuckled. "Let's do it step by step."

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