FIVE-time Open champion Tom Watson has warned the doubters that Tiger Woods is a long way from being written off.
This week’s 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool sees the former world No 1 making only his second appearance since back surgery in March. The last of Woods’ 14 majors incredibly came at the 2008 US Open and, while the Hoylake links is to his liking after he lifted the last of his three Claret Jugs there eight years ago, he is still struggling to regain the sort of form which saw him dominate the sport for over a decade.
As a result, it puts his place at September’s Ryder Cup in jeopardy, although team captain Watson insists if his compatriot is fit and playing well he will pick him. But Watson does not understand the recent criticism. “It is silly to think that way about what,” he says. “Why can’t you understand that Tiger Woods may well win this tournament? I hope that is the attitude most players have coming in.
“Ask Justin Rose (who has just won back-to-back events) if he intends to win here this week.”