Royal Lytham prompted Tiger to turn pro


LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England – Tiger Woods knows Royal Lytham & St. Annes well. It’s the course that essentially told him that he was good enough to leave college after two years and turn professional in 1996.

Woods spoke with the media Tuesday at the Open Championship and reminisced about playing here in 1996 and winning the silver medal that goes to the week’s low scoring amateur.

“I remember I got hot in that second round,” Woods said. “I think I made seven birdies on an 11-hole stretch or 12-hole stretch there. I think I posted 66 that day. I thought that was a pretty great accomplishment.”

Eventually, he tied for 22nd place that week, which was better than the 25th-place tie he recorded at Lytham in 2001 as a professional, the year that David Duval captured the claret jug.

Full coverage: 141st Open Championship articles, videos and photos

“The Open Championship that year basically, I thought, pushed me towards turning pro versus going back to college,” Woods said. “I was still kind of iffy about whether I should turn pro or not. But that gave me so much confidence that I could do it at a high level, I could shoot those scores and I could play against the top players in the world on a very difficult track.”

Later that summer Woods won his third consecutive U.S. Amateur and promptly turned professional.