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British Open: Woods adjusting to slow greens

Field Level Media
July 17. 2018 9:06PM
Tiger Woods hits an approach shot on the first hole during a practice round of The Open Championship golf tournament at Carnoustie Golf Links. (Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports)



Tiger Woods is still looking for that elusive 15th victory in a major tournament, and if it’s going to come this week at the British Open, he’s going to have to conquer the greens.

In a news conference Tuesday at host course Carnoustie in Scotland, Woods said the fairways are faster than the greens. That’s been attributed to an atypically dry and warm summer in the region.

“To be honest with you, I have struggled on slower greens throughout my entire career,” Woods said before an afternoon practice round.

Courses at the British Open usually have slower putting greens than venues on the PGA Tour, but these greens seemingly are slower than usual. Carnoustie also is considered the toughest of the courses in the rotation to host the tournament.

Woods said his switch to a new putter three weeks ago at the Quicken Loans National was done in part to help him get out of a putting slump. But he also had the British Open on his mind.

“It has a little more swing to it,” Woods said. “This putter has grooves in it, so it does roll initially a little faster and a little bit more true. And it is a little bit hotter. It’s going to help me on these greens, for sure, because normally when I’ve come over here, and virtually almost every single Open I’ve played in, I would put lead tape on my putters to try and get it a little bit heavier and get the ball rolling.”

Woods, 42, already has proof of the quick fairways. On Monday, Woods said, he hit a 3-iron off the 18th tee that traveled 333 yards.

“You’re going to see a lot of guys hit the ball a long way without a lot of club,” Woods said.

The new putter and a fourth-place finish at Quicken Loans could give him a bit of confidence heading into the tourney, even as he makes adjustments.

“It’s more about getting the feel,” he said. “I feel very confident with the way I’m rolling the golf ball, but the greens were a little bit slower yesterday and I’m sure they’ll be a little bit slower today with a bit of moisture. I’m going to spend a little time trying to get a pace for it.”

Woods has returned to the Tour in 2018 after recovering from his fourth back surgery. He has finished in the top five three times and in the top 12 five times in 11 events.

He is making his third appearance at Carnoustie, where he tied for seventh place in 1999 and for 12th place in 2007. He is set to tee off Thursday at 10:21 a.m. ET with his playing partners, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

Of Woods’ 14 major titles, three have come at the British Open: 2000, 2005 and 2006.


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