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Tiger Woods is in town for the Open - and fans turn out in droves

 

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods
Crowds take photos of Tiger Woods during preview day one of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club.
Crowds take photos of Tiger Woods on the 9th Tee during preview day one of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 14, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Tiger Woods on the 18th green during preview day one of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 14, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Tiger Woods' first appearance at Royal Portrush ahead of The Open Championship sparked fitness fears after a sluggish practice performance.

After arriving in Dublin early yesterday morning following a seven-and-a-half-hour flight from Florida, the 15-time Major champion was on the Dunluce links just a few hours later.

Woods, playing alongside former Masters champion Patrick Reed, was stiff in his first practice round on the north coast, prompting spectators to wonder if he was nursing an injury.

But the World No.5, who hasn't played since the US Open at Pebble Beach a month ago, was quick to allay those fears, claiming he isn't hurt leading into the first Open to be held in Northern Ireland since 1951.

Tiger Woods played a practice round at Royal Portrush on Sunday ahead of the Open Championship (Niall Carson/PA)
Tiger Woods played a practice round at Royal Portrush on Sunday ahead of the Open Championship (Niall Carson/PA)
Tiger Woods speaks to the media during preview day one of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 14, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Tiger Woods in a bunker on the eighth during preview day one of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 14, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Tiger Woods on the 18th fairway during preview day one of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 14, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.

He said: "The break is always great for my golf, especially now. I said last year I wouldn't be playing as much this year, and it's going to turn out that way.

"I went on a two-week holiday to Thailand straight after the US Open with my mum and the kids, and I did not touch a golf club. Absolutely zero.

"Then I started to prepare for this week. Nothing has changed. The only difference is that certain days I can do more than others."

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Woods also admitted after his practice round that he was impressed by the course on first viewing and that accuracy will be a premium during this week's tournament.

"With the wind switching and coming out of the south in the future, a lot of these shots we hit today are useless," said the three-time Open champion.

"Trying to figure out what lines to take, what lines to take on, what lines not to take on. And then these green complexes are so complicated, you have to miss the ball in the right spot."

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