It’s been a decade since Tiger Woods won a major title — the 2008 U.S. Open — but that dry spell could very well come to an end on Sunday.
Playing in The Open Championship for the first time since 2015, Woods carded a 5-under 66 on Saturday, briefly topping the leaderboard and setting himself up for a run at the trophy.
“It would be … better on Sunday,” Woods said via the AP. “But I’m right there.
“It’s been a few years since I’ve felt like this.”
It was the first time Woods led or held a share of the lead in a major since the 2012 U.S. PGA Championship, and his lowest round in a major since 2011 Masters.
The 14-time major champion will don his signature red on Sunday when he tees off and attempts to legitimize his comeback and cement his legacy.
- Tiger Woods
Fans of Tiger Woods were sent into a frenzy on Thursday morning when the 14-time major champion showed up to The Open Championship with two pieces of therapeutic tape on the back of his neck, but Woods insists the ailment is a minor one.
After he shot an even-par 71 in the opening round, Tiger was asked about his neck injury and if it affected his game.
“It was a hell of a lot better than my back hurting,” he said with a smile. “Yeah, I’ve been taped up, bandaged up — it’s just that you were able to see this one. It’s no big deal. Just gotta play.”
Earlier in the day, Tiger’s camp revealed that the injury was something that popped up overnight.
Per his camp: @TigerWoods woke up with stiff neck, put on KT tape and quickly felt better. No big deal, nothing major.
— Steve DiMeglio (@Steve_DiMeglio) July 19, 2018
Woods obviously has a lengthy injury history and has been forced to withdraw from a number of tournaments, but it doesn’t sound like there is any risk of that at The Open Championship. As he mentioned, he’s dealt with far worse injuries throughout his career.
Ian Poulter struggled a bit in the first round of The Open Championship on Thursday, but the end result could have been a lot worse if not for one of the luckiest shots you will ever see on a golf course.
Poulter’s tee shot on the 18th hole found some thick rough, and he tried to muscle his ball out and fly it to the green on his second shot. He ended up not catching nearly enough of it, and it looked as though the ball was going to roll into a creek. Poulter was fortunate to watch it take a big bounce over the creek, but then the ball rolled into a bunker. It didn’t stay in the bunker, however, as it somehow rolled over the lip and trickled up near the green.
Just have a look at this:
Ian Poulter hit probably the luckiest shot of his life and his reaction tells the tale. Jean van de Velde probably threw the remote at his TV pic.twitter.com/LnEDMrz7iv
— Born Salty (@cjzero) July 19, 2018
Poulter managed to save par and finish with a score of 2-over for the round, which wasn’t all that great on a day where the leaders finished 4- and 5-under. Still, even he couldn’t resist smiling after catching that break. I guess when you make some of the most clutch putts of the season you’re bound to get lucky at least once.
Phil Mickelson is a master with his wedges who has pulled off some incredible trick shots over the years, and one fan trusts the golf Hall of Famer so much that he was willing to put his nose on the line — literally.
At a practice event ahead of The Open Championship on Tuesday, Mickelson had a fan stand no more than two feet in front of him and somehow flopped a shot right over the guy’s head.
Retweet if you’d let Phil flop it over you from a tight lie two feet in front of tour face
— Callaway Golf (@CallawayGolf) July 17, 2018
Phil may be 48, but he’s clearly still got it. There are plenty of Mickelson fans who would not be as brave as the gentleman you see above, though his faith in “Lefty” was rewarded. Apparently he wasn’t concerned about some of the risks Mickelson has taken in the past that haven’t gone so smoothly.
- Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson recently revealed that he and Tiger Woods are exploring the possibility of playing a head-to-head match for $10 million, and the golf world cannot stop buzzing about it. And should the winner-take-all battle actually take place, Las Vegas will be prepared.
Multiple sportsbooks have already released odds and prop bets for a potential Tiger vs. Phil showdown. At BetOnline.AG, Woods is a slight favorite over Mickelson at -125 to win the match. Mickelson’s odds are currently listed at +105. SportsBettingDime.com sees things going a similar way, as that site lists Tiger at 2/3 to win and Mickelson at 3/2.
Odds on where the match might take place have also been released, with Emirates Golf Club in Dubai leading the way through BetOnline.AG at +275. Torrey Pines is next at +300. The book also lists the odds of the match actually happening at -280, while SportsBettingDime.com is slightly more confident at 1/2 odds.
How close is the match to actually happening? According to Mickelson, he thought it might take place on July 3 in Las Vegas, but a different date is now being worked on after that fell through. That seems to indicate that both golfers have agreed to it.
It goes without saying that Tiger and Phil are two of the most popular golfers to ever live, and Mickelson could be in need of a publicity boost after he embarrassed himself with a stunt at the US Open. A match between the two would be must-see TV.
Rory McIlroy has impressively won four majors during his young career, but none have come since 2014. That does not seem to have him worried.
Speaking before the Irish Open, McIlroy said that he’s not too concerned about not winning another major.
Rory McIlroy not concerned if he does not win another major.
“It’s still my career, and I still want to make the most of it and I still feel like I have a lot of time to make my mark on golf, but at the same time it doesn’t keep me up at night thinking, if I never won another major, I can’t live with myself,” McIlroy said, via Golf.com. “There are other things in my life that are more important than golf.”
The 29-year-old is now married and seems to have a more balanced life perspective. And though he’s missed three straight cuts at the US Open — including last month at Shinnecock Hills — McIlroy has seven top-10 finishes at majors since 2015.
Currently No. 8 in the world golf rankings, McIlroy hasn’t exactly fallen off even if he hasn’t captured a major in a few years. He still has time to get another — including maybe the elusive Masters.
- Rory McIlroy
Dustin Johnson sent a classy tweet after the US Open on Sunday.
DJ entered Sunday tied for the lead at the US Open. He shot an even par 70 in the final round and ended up three over for the tournament, two strokes behind champion Brooks Koepka.
Johnson congratulated Koepka on a “well deserved win” and said it wasn’t his day.
Just wasn’t my day but ended on a high note. Congrats to @BKoepka on a well deserved win!
— Dustin Johnson (@DJohnsonPGA) June 17, 2018
Johnson could have easily complained about conditions at Shinnecock Hills or something else, but instead he took the high road. Keep in mind that he went late in the round on Saturday after the course was already beaten up and ended up with a 77. That could be considered a disadvantage that really hurt his total score.