Tiger Woods has flat-out been getting after it in his practice sessions for the 148th Open Championship.
Woods played 18 holes on Sunday, just two hours after his plane arrived in Northern Ireland then he played another 18 on Monday.
On Tuesday, Woods went out to play seven holes, some on the final nine, a few back on the first.
He gave a pretty straight-forward assessment of his game:
“It’s not quite as sharp as I’d like to have it right now,” he said. 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.”
Tuesday was Woods’ last day on the course, he knows the challenges.
“A lot of movement,” Woods said of his observations of the course. “A lot of decisions off the tees, with all the angles. Now, with the wind switching coming out of the south in the future, a lot of these shots we hit today are useless. So we’re trying to figure out what lines to take on and what lines not to take on. And these green complexes are so complicated, you have to miss in the right spot.”
The big question surrounding Woods is his lack of competitive golf coming into this final major of the year.
But he was pretty blunt in his explanation.
“I want to play 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.”
Woods plays late on Thursday, 3:10 in the afternoon (10:10 am edt) and early on Friday morning, 10:09 (5:09 am edt).
Select, High-Profile Thursday Tee Times (Portrush time):
7.52am – Phil Mickelson, Shane Lowry, Branden Grace
9.14am – Henrik Stenson, Xander Schauffele, Graeme McDowell
9.58am – Francesco Molinari, Adam Scott, Bryson DeChambeau
10.09am – Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey, Gary Woodland
10.20am – Hideki Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler, Kevin Kisner
12.53pm – Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Thomas, Thorbjorn Olesen
1.04pm – Brooks Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen, Shubhankar Sharma
1.26pm – Jordan Spieth, Marc Leishman, Danny Willett
2.48pm – Tony Finau, Lucas Bjerregaard, Justin Rose
2.59pm – Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley
3.10pm – Tiger Woods, Matthew Wallace, Patrick Reed
3.21pm – Jon Rahm, Matt Kuchar, Patrick Cantlay