Tiger Woods believes links golf's tendency to level the playing field means The Open may represent his best chance of winning another major tournament.
It has been 10 years since Woods won the last of his 14 majors and 12 since he enjoyed the last of his three Open triumphs.
The 42-year-old American has struggled with injuries and off-course issues over the past three years and this week at Carnoustie marks the first time since 2015 that he has played the tournament.
The hot British summer has resulted in extremely quick fairways during practice days, meaning staying on the short grass can be tricky.
But Woods believes the unpredictable nature of links courses can play into his favour, pointing to the example of Tom Watson finishing runner-up at Turnberry in 2009 at the age of 59.
Asked if winning The Open represented his best chance of adding a 15th major, Woods initially brought laughter to the media room by replying: "Not to be smart but it is the next major I'm playing."
He then elaborated: "As far as long-term certainly I would say yes, because you don't have to be long [off the tee] to play on a links-style golf course.
"You look at what Tom did at Turnberry at 59, I believe. Greg [Norman] was there at Birkdale [in 2008] I think 54-ish. It certainly can be done.
"You get to places like Augusta National, it's just a big ball park and the course outgrows you unfortunately, that's just the way it goes.
"But links golf you can roll the ball. Even if I get a bit older I can chase some wood or long iron down there and hit the ball the same distance. Distance is a moot point on links.
"Creativity plays such an important role and you get guys like Tom playing well later in his career, there's a reason why he won five of these – very creative and hit all the shots."
Woods' troublesome back injuries led to fears over his career but he can feel his confidence growing with each tournament he plays.
"There were points in time where I thought I'd never play in this Championship again," he added.
"Watching it on TV is great, but it's even better in person. I remember how it feels coming down the last with a chance to win it and knowing I may never have that opportunity at times didn't feel good.
"But having the chance to come to Carnoustie and to play here in Scotland, it's been a blessing. There were times I didn't think I could do this again, but lo and behold here I am playing my third major of the year.
"Each tournament I keep coming back to I feel a bit better because I'm starting to play golf again, my feels are better, I have a better understanding on my game.
"More so than I did at Augusta [for the Masters]. I'm going to come with a bit more experience, I've made a few adjustments, I've changed putters, I've changed my swing since the West Coast swing.
"It's going a little bit better and I've been in contention a couple of times."
24 de marzo 2019
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