The Open: Tiger Woods’ teary-eyed farewell at St Andrews
Friday’s round is likely to have been Tiger Woods’ last at St Andrews in an Open Championship.
An emotional Tiger Woods conceded he is unlikely to play The Open at St Andrews again after missing the cut at the 150th edition of golf’s oldest major on Friday.
The 15-time major winner carded a second-round 75 to sit nine over par, well short of the projected cut mark at the home of golf. Woods was desperate to compete in this landmark tournament after his career was nearly ended by a car crash in February last year, and he admitted this was probably his final outing at an Open on the famous links.
Follow the final day of the 150th Open Championship live from St Andrews
It was fitting, then, that the 46-year-old – who has twice lifted the Claret Jug at the Fife course – was given a stunning ovation as he concluded his round, which left him with tears in his eyes.
“It’s very emotional for me. I’ve been coming here since 1995... I think the next one comes around in what, 2030? I don’t know if I will be physically able to play by then,” he said. “So to me it felt like this might have been my last British Open here at St Andrews. And the fans, the ovation and the warmth, it was an unbelievable feeling. I understand what Jack [Nicklaus] and Arnold [Palmer] had gone through in the past. I was kind of feeling that way there at the end – just the collective warmth and understanding. They understand what golf’s all about and what it takes to be an Open champion. I’ve been lucky enough and fortunate enough to have won this twice here, and it felt very emotional. I just don’t know what my health is going to be like. And I feel like I will be able to play future British Opens, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to play that long enough that when it comes back around here, will I still be playing?”
Woods admitted he was choked up by the response of the fans and his fellow professionals, including Rory McIlroy. “As I walked further along the fairway, I saw Rory right there,” he said. “He gave me the tip of the cap. It was a pretty cool, the nods I was getting from guys as they were going out and I was coming in, just the respect, that was pretty neat. And from a players’ fraternity level, it’s neat to see that and feel that. And then as I got closer to the green, more into the hole, the ovation got louder and you could feel the warmth and you could feel the people from both sides. It felt like the whole tournament was right there. I had a few tears. I’m not one who gets very teary-eyed very often about anything. I put my heart and soul into this event over the years and I think the people have appreciated my play in the event. I’ve won it three times.
“Life moves on and I think that’s what people understand, and they knew my circumstances this year, of just playing, period,” he added. “I was very lucky to have had a great team around me to get me to where I was physically able to play three times this year and very thankful to all of them for getting me to this spot.”