x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Woods in relaxed mood ahead of Turnberry test

The world No 1 is happy to be playing at the British Open after missing out on the major last year through injury.

Tiger Woods has been paired with Lee Westwood and Ryo Ishikawa for the opening two rounds of the tournament.
Tiger Woods has been paired with Lee Westwood and Ryo Ishikawa for the opening two rounds of the tournament.

A year after Greg Norman contended for The Open at the age of 53, Tiger Woods was asked today if he saw himself doing the same. "It would be nice to be above dirt," joked the world No 1, who hopes to make Turnberry his 15th major and first since he underwent reconstructive knee surgery last June. While Norman was finishing third at Birkdale last year ? behind Padraig Harrington and Ian Poulter ? Woods was barely mobile at the time. "My day consisted of trying to get from bed to the couch and then back to bed. "I caught the last nine holes of it and what Paddy did was pretty phenomenal ? a back-nine 32 I believe when it really mattered. He had to shoot a number and he did." Woods returned to action in February and has already won three more tournaments. And even though he was only sixth in both The Masters and US Open, he is delighted by his season so far. "Granted I've not won a major, but I've come close. I've put myself in position and just haven't done it. But three wins in the first half of the year ? it's been a tremendous success." Woods plays his first two rounds with Lee Westwood and also 17-year-old rising Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa. Asked by a Japanese reporter about what atmosphere he expected, Woods smiled and answered: "I think it's going to be very quiet! "I think it will be interesting. There will be a lot of people inside the ropes, but it is what it is ? I've been there before. "Ryo's not done it in a major, but he's had a lot to deal with at a very young age and has handled it very well." * PA Sport