PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland – Tiger Woods has only one more practice session to get his game ready to contend in the year’s final major.
Woods admitted Tuesday that his long game isn’t yet dialed in with just two days before the start of The Open.
“It’s not quite as sharp as I’d like to have it right now,” he said at Royal Portrush. “My touch around the greens is right where I need to have it. But I still need to shape the golf ball a little bit better than I am right now, especially with the weather coming in and the winds are going to be changing. I have to be able to cut the ball, draw the ball, hit it at different heights and move it all around.
“Today was a good range session. I need another one tomorrow – and hopefully that will be enough to be ready.”
Woods arrived on Sunday morning and played 18 holes with Patrick Reed. Needing a crash course in how to play a new major venue, he played another full 18 on Monday, alongside Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler, and then headed out by himself Tuesday morning for a seven-hole loop on the back nine. He isn’t expected to play another practice round this week.
Woods vowed to play fewer events this season, but he’s managed just 10 tournament rounds since his breakthrough victory at the Masters in April. It’s been a fine line for the 43-year-old with the fused back: getting enough tournament competition to keep his game sharp while also managing the restrictions of his brittle body.
“I want to play here as long as I possibly can,” he said. “And you have to understand: If I play a lot, I won’t be out here that long.”