ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – It was clearly not the week Tiger Woods had envisioned, but the three-time Open champion cherished the walk up the 18th hole in what he said will likely be his last championship at St. Andrews.
“I don’t know if I’ll be physically able to play another British Open here at St. Andrews. I certainly feel like I’ll be able to play in more British Opens, but I don’t know if I’ll be around when it comes back around here,” said Woods, who finished with a second-round 75 that left him at 9 over par and well outside the cut.
If this is Woods’ final Open Championship at St. Andrews – the Old Course isn’t currently in the rotation to host another, although it historically returns to St. Andrews every five years – he savored the walk up the 18th fairway.
“The warmth and the ovation on 18, it got to me. I felt the guys stop there off the tee at 18 and it was just incredible. The amount of understanding and respect from all the people who are involved in this event,” said Woods, who was visibly overcome by emotion as he finished his round.
“Rory [McIlroy] gave me a tip of the cap. [Justin Thomas] did the same. It’s just something different.”
Woods had made The Open a focus of his comeback and showed a degree of confidence as he prepared for this week’s championship, but that optimism unraveled quickly. He made a double bogey-6 on his first hole Thursday on his way to a 78, which tied for his worst first-round score at The Open, and he never found any momentum on Day 2.
The Open will be Woods’ final start of the 2022 PGA Tour season and he said he didn’t know when he may return to competition. The next likely start would be the Hero World Challenge, an unofficial event that Woods hosts the first week of December, followed by the PNC Championship, a team event he plays with his son the third week of December.