Tiger laughs off Koepka snub ahead of Open


Tiger Woods laughs off Brooks Koepka snub as he reveals his game isn’t ‘quite as sharp’ as he’d like heading in to The Open.

When Tiger was at the peak of his powers he was known for giving very little away when it comes to advice for other players, but the tables turned on him when he reached out to Brooks Koepka ahead of the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush. 

During his press conference, Woods admitted that while he hadn’t tried to pick the brains of Graeme McDowell or Darren Clarke ahead of the Open at Royal Portrush, he did send a text to Brooks Koepka – whose caddie Ricky Elliot is also a Portrush native. He didn’t hear back.

“Tell you a funny story,” Woods said on Tuesday, laughing off the snub from the World No.1.

“I texted Brooksie. Congratulations on another great finish. What he’s done in the last four major championships has been just unbelievable. To be so consistent, so solid. He’s been in contention to win each and every Major Championship.

“And I said, Hey dude, do you mind if I tag along and play a practice round? I’ve heard nothing.”

Woods hasn’t teed up since he finished T21 at the U.S. Open, which followed a top 10 at Memorial and a missed cut at the PGA – those being the only three tournaments he’s played since claiming his 15th major title at the Masters in April. 

For Woods, who returned to the game after having a fourth back surgery that resulted in a fused spine, it’s been a conscious decision in order for him to keep playing after exerting himself too much last year. 

“Last year, I played too much,” Woods explained. 

“So this year I made a conscious effort to cut back on my schedule… I want to play out here as long as I possibly can. And you have to understand, if I play a lot, I won’t be out here that long. 

“So it’s understanding how much I can play, prepping how much I do at home and etting ready. And that’s the tricky part is trying to determine how much tournament play I need to get the feel for the shots and understanding where my body is.”

As for where his game is right now, Woods admitted that he’s still working on shaping the ball as he prepares for the conditions at Royal Portrush.

“It’s not quite as sharp as I’d like to have it right now. My touch around the greens is right where I need to have it. I still need to get the ball — the shape of the golf ball a little bit better than I am right now, especially with the weather coming in and the winds are going to be changing. I’m going to have to be able to cut the ball, draw the ball, hit at different heights and move it all around.

“Today it was a good range session. I need another one tomorrow. And hopefully that will be enough to be ready.

“Joey has done just an unbelievable job of getting numbers. He’s gone out a number of different times because he knows the weather is going to change, the wind is going to change. Our carries are going to be different. Our ending numbers are going to be different. So trying to figure all that out and then put together a game plan that’s going to work.”

Woods will tee off at 3.10pm for his first round on Thursday with Patrick Reed and Matt Wallace

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