Waving goodbye? Tearful Tiger Woods serenaded by St. Andrews crowd after troublesome Open


The ovation soundtracked the whole thing of the 15-time main winner’s lengthy stroll down the Previous Course’s 18th fairway, as a visibly emotional Woods — eradicating his hat to salute the reception — wiped away tears.

It stays to be seen whether or not certainly one of golf’s biggest icons has performed his ultimate skilled shot at one of many sport’s most iconic venues, but when this was to be goodbye, then it was a becoming send-off.

“The followers, the ovation and the heat, it was an unbelievable feeling,” Woods informed reporters.

“As I acquired nearer to the inexperienced … the ovation acquired louder, you possibly can really feel the heat and you possibly can really feel the individuals from either side. Felt like the entire match was proper there.”

To play his favourite course once more had been the 46-year-old’s essential focus through the grueling restoration course of he has endured since a automobile accident in February 2021 left him with critical leg accidents.

A 3-time Open champion — twice a winner at St. Andrews — any hopes of Woods lifting a fairytale fourth Claret Jug have been dashed early after a difficult first round left him tied for 146th on his return to the clubhouse and 14 photographs adrift of the chief.

It left him needing a miracle to make the reduce and prolong his potential farewell tour to the weekend. Regardless of an improved second spherical efficiency, a string of agonizingly brief putts extinguished any faint probabilities of a fabled comeback as he completed 9 over par.

Woods is applauded and he makes his way down the 18th fairway.
Talking on the eve of the occasion, Woods — regardless of asserting he felt “a lot stronger” — had been candid about accepting the brand new limits of his physique. Having withdrawn from the PGA Championship in Might, he accomplished his rounds on the flatter St. Andrews course however may very well be seen limping throughout components of Friday’s session.

And with the Open not probably returning to the ‘residence of golf’ till 2030, Woods admitted he could have performed his final Open on the venue.

“I am not retiring from the sport, however I do not know if I can be bodily in a position to play again right here once more when it comes again round,” Woods stated.

“I will be capable of play future British Opens, sure, however eight years’ time, I doubt if I will be aggressive at this stage.

“Life strikes on, and I feel that is what individuals perceive. They knew my circumstances this 12 months, of simply taking part in, interval. I used to be very fortunate to have had an ideal group round me to get me to the place I used to be bodily in a position to play 3 times this 12 months and really grateful to all of them for getting me to this spot.”

Woods wipes his eyes on his way over the 18th fairway.

Fanfare

With an estimated 290,000 spectators across the Previous Course this week, for a lot of the occasion’s first two days, it felt like most of them have been following Woods across the course, such was the fanfare wherever he went.

Crowds piled behind the ropes at any time when he was on the tee, with three notably enthusiastic Woods followers dressed head to toe in Tiger costumes. Although taking pictures simply 4 birdies throughout the opening two rounds, every one was met with a stage of crowd roar that recommended he was as soon as once more contending on the prime of the leaderboard.

His stage of respect amongst fellow gamers was additionally evident, with Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas — transferring down the adjoining first tee as Woods walked the 18th — each tipping their cap as he handed.

Earlier, world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler stated he hoped he had not seen the final of Woods at St. Andrews.

“He is a reasonably resilient man and he likes to compete,” he informed reporters.

“We’ll see what he has in retailer for us the subsequent few years. Any time you’ll be able to see that man out on the golf course, particularly The Previous Course, it is actually particular.

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“For us, as gamers, to have him round is fairly cool. When he acquired in that automobile wreck, did not know if we might have him again. Simply to have him out right here taking part in golf is fairly particular for all of us.”



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