Tiger Woods is not making any starts between the two big Opens and a fellow major champ is questioning how “serious” Woods is about winning at Royal Portrush.
European Ryder Cup captain and two-time Open Championship winner Padraig Harrington said prior to this week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, "I personally think if you're serious about winning The Open you've got to be playing tournament golf at least before it.
"You'd rather be playing links golf and being in a tournament than just [playing] on your own, so if you're serious about trying to win The Open you should be playing at least one, if not two, of the events running into it.”
Woods won this year’s Masters and then didn’t play an event leading into the PGA Championship, where he missed the cut. He made one start between the PGA and U.S. Open, and tied for 21st at Pebble Beach.
Woods’ schedule this year has been a series of big events with little-to-nothing in between. The 43-year-old, who has undergone four back procedures, has made nine starts, including three major championships, two WGC events and The Players.
Woods has gone from major to major in the past. But only two of his 15 major titles (1999 PGA and 2008 U.S. Open) came that route.
"I was always mightily impressed when Tiger Woods would play in a major without playing the week before. I'd be a basket case if I didn't play the week before,” Harrington said.
"Different personalities [are] completely different. But I do think links golf is different. You're giving up some shots if you don't play some links golf in the couple of weeks coming up to it. There's no better way to understand your clubbing than when you've got a card in your hand and if you under-club there's a little bit of pain and you remember it."