Open Golf Championship – Target for Tiger
Tiger Woods has targeted the Open Golf Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 17th for his return to competitive golf, according to close sources.
It would be familiar ground for Tiger, who won the championship the last time The Open was played at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake. Tiger won the 2006 Open Golf Championship by two shots from Chris DiMarco, tearing up the dry course while hitting only one driver over the course of four rounds.
The report follows news from earlier this week that Tiger was healthy enough to begin chipping and putting. He missed the Masters for the first time in 20 years after undergoing back surgery to repair a pinched nerve.
His agent Mark Steinberg said earlier this week: “He’s doing a little bit more and more each day. Tiger is getting to the point of light chipping and putting and the doctors and trainers seem to be pleased with where he is. He is on schedule but we don’t know what that schedule means. I don’t know when he intends to be playing again competitively, but I expect it to be this summer. I know that’s a wide range, but as the weeks go by we’ll be able to pinpoint an approximate time. It’s still a little early for that. Nothing that has gone on from the day of the surgery until today gives me any cause to amend what I said then. I know that’s broad and vague but we can’t pinpoint a specific time until we’re further along.”
The Open Golf Championship at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake will feature a horseshoe grandstand around the 18th green for the first time at a British Open as part of a number of course changes for this year’s tournament.
Organizers say the Royal Liverpool course will be extended by 54 yards compared to 2006 — the last time it held the major — and the green on the first hole has been reshaped and rebunkered to make it the “hardest opening hole on the Open rota.”
Around 200,000 spectators are expected for the tournament, which would be a slight decrease compared to 2006 when 230,000 golf fans watched Tiger Woods win his 11th major title. Malcolm Booth, communications director for organizer The R&A, says the cauldron feel around the 18th will “provide a unique atmosphere for an Open Championship.”