Tiger Woods will make his bid for his 15th major title at the 2014 British Open. The New York Times reports that he has arrived in Hoylake, England after visiting Geneva to tour the Rolex factory. Tiger is in the running to capture the record for most major championships ever won, a record that is currently held by the godfather of golf, Jack Nicklaus, who has 18 major titles under his belt.
Woods had previously undergone spinal surgery which has prevented him from playing in this year’s first two major championships. But he is back in the saddle now, and he has his eyes on the prize.
In 2006, the last time the tournament was held here, Tiger was in exceptional form and took his 11th major title home. He defeated Chris DiMarco by a mere two strokes to take the win. Back in 2006, Tiger played in the name of his father, who had recently passed, This year, he’s playing to prove that he still has what it takes to be a championship golfer.
When Tiger takes to the links at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club this year, he will battle skepticism due to his physical health. Tiger Woods told USA Today the following about his performance back in 2006:
I came here and just felt at peace. I really, really played well. On Sunday I really felt calm out there. It was surreal at the time. I’ve had a few moments like that in majors where I’ve felt that way on a Sunday … I wouldn’t necessarily say it was every day but certainly on Sunday I really felt that my dad was with me on that one round. I said it back then that it was like having my 15th club.
Now, Woods seems more determined than ever despite only playing two competitive rounds in the last four months. He has every intent on winning again this year in spite of his spinal injury:
Once I started getting stronger, more stable, I could work on my explosiveness, and start getting my speed back. Each and every week I’ve gotten stronger and faster. Probably not quite at the level that I think I can be at as far as my explosion through the golf ball, but I’m pretty, pretty darn close.
Woods underwent surgery to correct a pinched nerve in his spinal column that was preventing him from being active in ways that were normal for him. The 38-year-old reported having difficulty playing with his children, let alone playing golf. However, it seems that is all behind him now.
What do you think about Tigers imminent return? Will you be rooting for him?
[Image credit: Golf Punk Mag]