TIGER Woods has confirmed that the Open Championship at St Andrews, scene of two of his three victories in the event, will be on his “busy summer” schedule.
The 14-times major winner announced his trip to the home of golf as he took the unusual step of revealing his upcoming schedule, having already announced he will be playing in next week’s Players’ Championship at TPC Sawgrass. He wrote on Twitter: “See you at the US Open, Open Champ, Memorial, Greenbrier and my Foundation’s event, the Quicken Loans National. Going to be a busy summer.”
It is a huge boost for the world’s oldest major that Woods has committed to trying to claim his third Claret Jug on the Old Course in July.
He won by nine shots in 2000 – his first triumph in the event – then finished five clear of second-placed Colin Montgomerie five years later.
His only other Open Championship victory came at Royal Liverpool in 2006 and, if there’s one course on the R&A rota where Woods will feel confident that he can kick-start his bid to get closer to Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 majors, then it is surely St Andrews.
Having made a promising return in the Masters following a two-month absence, Woods, who failed to qualify for this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship after falling outside the world’s top 100 for the first time in more than 18 years, will find himself in the spotlight again at Sawgrass next week.
His first appearance in the so-called fifth major since 2013 will now be tinged with sadness following the death of Calvin Peete at the age of 71.
Winner of 12 PGA Tour titles, including the Players’ Championship, between 1979 and 1986, Peete was the most successful African-American player before Woods.
He played on the US Ryder Cup teams in 1983 and 1985, winning both of his singles matches and finishing with a record of four wins, two defeats and one half.
“Calvin was an inspiration to so many people,” said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem. “He started in the game relatively late in life but quickly became one of the Tour’s best players, winning and winning often despite the hardship of his injured arm.
“I can still remember watching Calvin hit drive after drive straight down the middle of the fairway, an amazing display of talent he possessed despite some of his physical limitations (he played with a left arm he could not fully extend because of a broken elbow caused by a childhood fall).
“Along with his wife Pepper he made such a difference working with The First Tee and junior golf in this area (Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida).”
Former world No 1 David Duval wrote on Twitter: “Sad to hear of the passing of Calvin Peete. “Was an incredible ball striker. RIP.”