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Woods relishing bid to solve Royal Portrush puzzle


Maiden visit: Tiger Woods has never been at Royal Portrush before
Maiden visit: Tiger Woods has never been at Royal Portrush before

By Phil Casey

Tiger Woods admits he will have plenty of homework to do ahead of The Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

Woods saved his best until last with a final round of 69 in the US Open at Pebble Beach, with the Masters champion recovering from four bogeys in the first six holes with six birdies in the remaining 12.

"I got off to another pretty c*****y start but fought it off and was able to get it under par for the week," Woods said. "Normally that's a good thing (in a US Open) but these guys are really taking it to the golf course."

The 43-year-old is currently not scheduled to compete again until the final Major of the season next month and has never played the course which returns to The Open rota for the first time since 1951.

"I've only played (Royal) County Down, I've never been up to Portrush and I'm looking forward to getting up there and taking a look at the course and trying to figure it out," Woods said.

"I hope that my practice rounds are such that we get different winds, especially on a golf course that I've never played, to get a different feel how it could play for the week.

"And I'll definitely have to do my homework once I get there."

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Woods did not play between his victory at Augusta National and the US PGA Championship at Bethpage, where he missed the halfway cut and trailed playing partner Brooks Koepka by 17 shots after 36 holes.

However, when asked if he would play between now and The Open, the former World No.1 added: "I'll play at home, yeah. I know that Florida will not be the same temperature as Northern Ireland. I'm not going to be practicing with any sweaters at home, but it will be nice to get to Portrush and get with it again."

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