Woods Has Plenty Of Homework After First Look At Royal Portrush

Tiger Woods clearly has plenty of homework to do ahead of teeing-off Thursday in the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

Woods was joined by fellow American Patrick Reed and with the duo taking to the Northern Ireland course around 9.30am local time.

It wasn’t long before those spectators on the course flocked to the Mastesrs-winning pairing and while it was warm sunshine, Woods was bizarrely wrapped-up under three layers and then once he made his way up the first the now 43-year old was clearly sluggish and struggling to get into full stride.

Woods’ physical well-being prompted one spectator to comment:  “He’s walking like an old man.”

Woods jetted in overnight from Florida and arriving into Portrush earlier on Sunday before getting his very sight at Royal Portrush and in what is his first visit to Northern Ireland in 19-years when he played a practice round at Royal County Down to the south of Belfast and a week prior to the 2000 Open Championship at St. Andrews.

Tiger Woods putting out on the 18th green at Royal Portrush earlier today (Photo – Tiger Tracker)

The current World No. 5 last competed in finishing T21st in last month’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach while Woods did not unpack his clubs on a recent family vacation to Thailand, the birth country of his mother, Kultida, while his daughter, Samantha celebrated her 12th birthday.

“I’ve not played since Pebble,” he said in speaking with Bob Harig from ESPN.

“I didn’t play any golf and the clubs stayed in the travel case, like I told you guys, I wouldn’t touch them. I didn’t do a damn thing. I putted as soon as I got back and then built it up from there.

“We had the greatest time as it was also Sam’s birthday was over there. We rode elephants, went on a safari, visited the islands. It was an experience. Especially since my mom’s health is diminishing and we’re not sure how many times she can do this.

“They understand the culture there a little bit more, the things they didn’t really know about. It was pretty cool for them to experience that at such a young age.

“I just helped with them. I knew from being over there, I knew the culture, I was raised with it. The only thing I didn’t try was the spicy food. Not happening again.”

Woods and Reed played all 18 holes before ending their practice rounds soon after 1pm local time.

Woods had been reported as seeking to acclimatise for this week’s event by setting his alarm for 1am Florida-time and what is 6pm UK time.

However with Woods’ physical well-being clearly not 100%, it did not seem to hamper him once over a shot and after a first practice on the course that last host golf’s oldest major in 1951, Woods still has much homework to do ahead of Thursday’s tee-off in the final major of 2019.

“There’s a lot of movement and a lot of decision off the tees, angles,” he said.

“With the wind switching and coming out of the south in the future, a lot of these shots we hit today are useless. Trying to figure out what lines to take, what lines to take on, what lines not to take on. And then these green complexes are so complicated, you have to miss the ball in the right spot.”

And while Woods has three full official practice rounds beginning tomorrow to work out the course word is fellow Open winner, Darren Clarke will be given the honour of teeing-up first at 6.30am on Thursday morning.

Clarke, winner of the 2011 Open at Royal St. Georges, has a house within minutes of the Royal Portrush front gates.

When asked if he was being handed the honour Clarke simply smiled saying:  “You are going to have to get up really early if you want to catch me teeing up.”



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