The elbow that hampered Tiger Woods in the U.S. Open last month no longer does, he said, making him primed to break his string of 20 majors without raising the winning trophy.
The British Open in Scotland, at Muirfield, starting Thursday, is Woods’ latest chance to make up ground on Jack Nicklaus, who has held an 18-14 lead in majors on Woods since 2008. The Open Championship promises to be a major challenge because of the swirling winds and tough greens.
“I’ve been playing a lot at home,” Woods said. “But it’s Florida, it rains every day, it’s soft. It’s two totally different conditions.
“I just wanted to make sure that I’m rested and feel fit and ready to go for the championship. I’ve done a lot of homework on the greens each day. And I’ve taken my time and really got a good feel for them. So that’s been good. I would just like to get another wind in, a little different direction. We’ve had it the same the last three days.”
Woods has not played a competitive round since he tied for 32nd at the U.S. Open at Merion on June 16, when his elbow problem was apparent from the first hole of the tournament. Woods favored it when he hit shots from the rough and admitted Tuesday that it caused discomfort.
“It didn’t feel good. It didn’t feel good, especially in the rough,” he said. “That rough was dense, and it was lush. You go from whatever it is, let’s say 100-some-odd miles an hour to virtually zero. And that was the tough part about it. I really couldn’t get through it. And it put a lot of torque on it, and it hurt.
“Conversely, just stay out of the damn thing. Put it in the fairway and put it on the green and make your putts. It’s not like I was drawing bad lies on those tee boxes. You just have to stay out of it,” he said.