The Open: Tiger Woods ‘very emotional’ as he waves goodbye to St Andrews after missed cut

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·2-min read
The Open: Tiger Woods ‘very emotional’ as he waves goodbye to St Andrews after missed cut
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Tiger Woods waved an emotional goodbye to St Andrews after what he admits was likely his final Open appearance at the Home of Golf ended with a missed cut.

This had been a week firmly in Woods’ mind throughout his recovery from a horrific car accident last February, skipping the US Open earlier in the summer to ensure his body was ready for the 150th Open.

However, on a course where he won the Claret Jug in 2000 and 2005, his bid for the most miraculous of hat-tricks was effectively ended after just seven holes of his opening round, by which point he was six-over-par. Woods’ first-round 78 was improved by three shots on Friday but at nine-over he finished a long way off the cut line.

Playing partners Max Homa and Matt Fitzpatrick stepped back to let Woods take in a huge ovation as he walked down the 18th fairway and crossed the Swilcan Bridge, though there was no pausing for photographs as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson have done in the past in their final St Andrews appearances.

Woods was reduced to tears by the reception he received, waving at the grandstands on his way to the green as Rory McIlroy tipped his cap walking the other way on the shared fairway.

The 15-time major champion muttered “come on Tiger, come on” as he stood over his ball, attempting to compose himself after a rare show of emotion.

“It was very emotional for me,” Woods said. “I have been coming here since 1995 and I don’t know when the next one comes around, in what, 2030, if I will be physically able to play by then.

“I felt like it might be my last British Open at St Andrews and the ovation and warmth was an unbelievable feeling.

“They understand what the golf is all about and what it takes to be an Open champion. I’ve been lucky enough to have won here twice and it felt very emotional just because I don’t know what my health is going to be like.”

The next three Open venues have been confirmed, up to Royal Portrush hosting in 2025. There is no confirmation yet of when it will return to St Andrews, though it usually does so every five years so 2027 seems the most likely option.

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