The three-time Open winner Tiger Woods will make his first appearance at the tournament since 2015 when he tees it up at 3.21pm in Thursday’s first round alongside home hope Russell Knox and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama.
In that three-year period, Woods has undergone back surgery and endured plenty of injury-related struggles.
However, his performances in 2018 have been impressive, certainly by the 42-year-old’s recent standards, and Woods arrives at Carnoustie this week with confidence renewed.
Speaking following a practice round at the course on Tuesday, Woods said: “There were points when I never thought I?d play in this championship again.
“To come back to Carnoustie is a blessing. There were times when I didn?t think this was possible but here I am in my third.”
Tiger Woods, who finished seventh at Carnoustie in 1999 and 12th when the tournament was last staged at the venue in 2007, says his continuing comeback, one which has brought three top-five finishes since it began in January, is still a work in progress.
“Each tournament I feel a bit better because I’m starting to play golf again,” he added. “I feel I’ve got a better understanding of my game and it’s coming with a little more experience. Everything is going just a little bit better.”
The Open has a proven track record of providing experienced winners of the Claret Jug, even if 24-year-old Jordan Spieth is the defending champion.
Seven of the last 10 winners have been aged 35 or older and Woods believes the experience factor is on his side.
Tiger Woods said: “I think I’ve got the experience of playing this type of golf course. You got to manage your way around this course.”