It remains to be seen whether one of golf’s greatest icons will play his last professional swing at one of the sport’s most iconic locations, but if this is the case, goodbye, it’s a fitting farewell.
“The fans, the applause and the warmth, it was an unbelievable feeling,” Woods told reporters.
“As I get closer to the pitch… the acclaim gets louder, you can feel the warmth and you can feel the people from both sides. It feels like the whole tournament. The fight is right there.”
To play his favorite subject again has been the main focus of the 46-year-old throughout the grueling recovery he has endured since a car crash in February 2021 left him He was seriously injured in the leg.
It left him needing a miracle to make the cut and extend his potential farewell tour to the weekend. Despite his improved second-round performance, a string of painful short putts snuffed out any chance of a lackluster comeback as he finished nine over par.
And with the Open unlikely to return to ‘golf’s home country’ until 2030, Woods admits he may have played his last Open at the venue.
“I’m not taking a break, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to play here again when it comes back,” Woods said.
“I will be able to play the British Open in the future, yes, but in eight years time I doubt if I will be competitive enough at this level.
“Life goes on, and I think that’s what people understand. They know my situation this year, just the competition, the period. I’m very fortunate to have such a great team around me to play with. took me to a place where I was fit enough to compete. times this year and a big thank you to all of them for getting me to this position.”
With an estimated 290,000 spectators around the Old Course this week, for much of the first two days of the event, it felt like most of them watched Woods around the field, which was fanfare. wherever he goes.
Crowds pile up behind the line whenever he’s at the tee, with three Woods fans particularly enthusiastic about wearing a head-to-toe Tiger outfit. Despite shooting only four birds in the opening two innings, each was met with cheers from the crowd that saw him once again running for the top spot.
His level of respect among fellow players was also evident, with Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas – moving down to the adjacent first tee as Woods walked past the 18th – both taking their hats off when he passed.
Earlier, world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler said he hoped he didn’t get to see Woods’ final game at St. Andrews.
“He’s a pretty resilient guy and he loves to compete,” he told reporters.
“We’ll see what he has in store for us over the next few years. Anytime you can see him on the golf course, especially The Old Course, it’s really special.
“For us, as players, to have him around is pretty amazing. When he gets in that same rut, we don’t know if we’ll bring him back. For him to come out here to play golf is pretty special to all of us.”