In a big sporting event, it is normal to always look at the top of the table to see who has a chance of victory. However, at this British Open it is no exaggeration to say that most fans were not as interested in knowing the winner of 2022 as they were in honoring the winner of 2000 and 2005.
After his terrible car accident, Tiger Woods He had made a great effort to return to this mythical venue and the knowledgeable Scottish public wanted to recognize him as such. It did not matter that after two rounds the American genius accumulated a result of nine shots over par that left him out of the weekend; thunderous applause as the stands rose to their feet brought the former world number one to tears.
And that he did not finish clarifying if this was going to be his last presence on the Old Course or not. “I cannot confirm or deny it, we will see it sooner or later”, commented the Tiger, aware that he will be 54 years old when the Open returns here again. Time will tell.
His performance in the tournament has been very discreet: on Thursday he finished the first round with a card of +6, already fourteen shots off the lead, and this Friday he finished the second round with +3, to accumulate a total of +9 (nine on the pair of the field), well above the ‘cut’.
“I am not retiring,” he assured after his participation this Friday. “But I don’t know if I will still be physically able to come back here, to Saint Andrews, when it’s time to host the British Open again,” he added to explain the reason for his tears and his emotional farewell to the public.
“I am going to play more British Opens, but in eight years (the time that he estimates will be before it is held again in the Saint Andrews course) I don’t think I will still be competitive enough,” insisted Woods, “excited by the ovation and the fervor of the public» when he completed his tour.
“As I got closer to the hole, the applause was getting louder. People have appreciated what I have done all these years that I have played in Scotland, where I love to play. Everything (the feeling) has gone up when I was going to the ball », he explained.
Disappointed, with his head lowered and a serious gesture, Woods passed one last time, at least in this tournament, through the portico of the Royal and Ancient, the building that houses the body that governs the rules of golf (except in the United States and Mexico, submitted to the North American organism USGA).
“I am disappointed not to play the weekend, but clearly I have not played well enough: I would have liked to have done better. Saint Andrews is still my favorite course. I fell in love with him in 1995 and that has not changed », she admitted at a press conference.
Before the tournament, the North American star had already said that «being here, in my sixth Open in Saint Andrews, being able to play on this course where golf was born, is something fantastic», recalling that a few months ago his goal was simply « be able to walk again.
Woods returned to competition in April at the Augusta Masters, where he was 47th, after two positive first rounds. He then dropped out on the third round at the PGA Championship and forfeited the US Open.
“Now I have nothing planned. Maybe I’ll play something next year, but I don’t know. This year I was just hoping to be able to play this tournament and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to play three. All, moreover, ‘major’ », he explained when asked about his immediate plans.
Rahm and Sergio García recover positions
As far as this edition is concerned, Cam Smith put the direct (-13) and will be difficult to stop for his important rivals, especially Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson.
Jon Rahm (-4), Sergio Garcia (-3) and Adri Arnaus (pair) will have to row to finish top.