Woods: I’m far from ‘buried and done’

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Former world number one Tiger Woods insists he is not “buried and done” and has revealed he wants to play the Old Course backwards before he dies.

Woods has not won a major championship since the 2008 US Open and comes into the Open ranked 241st in the world after a number of dreadful performances this season.

TigerWoods pictured at last year’s Open in Hoylake.

The 39-year-old recorded his highest US Open score ever with an opening round of 80 at Chambers Bay and went on to miss just his fifth halfway cut in 68 majors as a professional.

After recording just one round in the 80s in the paid ranks before this year, that was Woods’s third in the space of six events following an 82 in the Waste Management Phoenix Open and a career-worst 85 in the Memorial Tournament.

But after a bogey-free closing round of 67 in the Greenbrier Classic a fortnight ago, Woods was in confident mood on Tuesday at St Andrews, where he won the Open in 2000 and 2005.

Asked if he had given up hope of beating Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major titles, Woods said: “No, not at all. I’m still young. I’m not 40 yet.

“I know some of you guys think I’m buried and done, but I’m still right here in front of you. I love playing. I love competing, and I love playing these events.

“I feel like my body is finally healed up from the (back) surgery from last year. They say it takes you about four to six months to get back, but I’ve heard a lot of guys on tour who have had the surgery and other athletes say it takes over a year to get back. I think they were probably closer to being right, it being a full year to get back.

“It would have been one thing if I would have gone through the procedure and then had the same golf swing, but I’ve changed the golf swing too on top of that, and so I had to fight both at the same time.”

Woods made his Open debut at St Andrews as an amateur in 1995, when Jordan Spieth was four days away from his second birthday, won his first Claret Jug on the Old Course by eight shots in 2000 and in 2005 won by five from Colin Montgomerie.

“Obviously it’s the Home of Golf, we all know that,” Woods added. “But to me it’s brilliant, how you can play it so many different ways. I’ve always wanted to play it backwards, one time before I die. I want to play from 1 to 17, 2 to 16, so forth and so on.

“I think that would be just a blast because I can see how certain bunkers – why would they put that there? And then if you play it backwards, you see it. It’s very apparent. That’s totally in play. That one day would be a lot of fun to be able to do.”