Despite not being able to play competitive golf in the past four months due to back surgery, Tiger Woods has only one thing on his mind this week at the Open Championship: winning his 15th major champion.
“I’ve been in circumstances like this,” Woods said during a 30-minute news conference. “If you remember in ’08 I had knee surgery right after the Masters. I won a U.S. Open. I didn’t play more than nine holes, and the Sunday before the U.S. Open I didn’t break 50 for nine holes and still was able to win it in a playoff, with an [torn] ACL and a broken leg.
“I’ve proven I can do it. It’s just a matter of putting my game and giving myself the best chances this week to miss the ball in the correct spots, to be aggressive when I can and obviously to hole putts. That’s a recipe you find for every major championship, but I’ve just got to do it this week.”
Woods has played just two competitive rounds since March 31 back surgery.
“It’s getting better,” Woods said of his game. “Playing at Congressional was a big boost to me. The fact that I was able to go at it that hard and hit it like that with no pain. It wasn’t like that the previous time I played. Playing at both the Honda and Doral [in March] I did not feel well. But to come back and be able to hit the ball as hard as I was able to hit it. I’ve gotten stronger since then, I’ve gotten more explosive, I’ve gotten faster since then. That’s going to be the case. I’m only going to get stronger and faster, which is great.”
Woods tees off Thursday at 9:04 a.m. local time (4:04 a.m. ET) along with Angel Cabrera and Henrik Stenson.