David Feherty on Tiger Woods’ chances at The Open: ‘He’s an unknown quantity at the moment’

July 8, 2019

Tiger Woods is a three-time winner of the Open Championship and a 15-time major champion, most recently winning the 2019 Masters this past April. But Golf Channel analyst David Feherty isn’t quite sure what to make of the No. 5 player in the world ahead of the fourth and final major of the season next week at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

During a roundtable conference call with reporters on Monday, the Northern Ireland native was asked about Woods’ preparation and strategy ahead of the 148th Open Championship. Woods hasn’t played since the U.S. Open in June.

“He sticks to a plan,” Feherty said. “I think a good deal of it will depend upon the weather, which I suspect being from there may not be great. We may get some real Open Championship weather. Personally, I kind of hope we do. There’s something traditional or special about playing golf in bad weather. And Tiger typically is not renowned as a bad weather player. I don’t know what sort of shape his back is in for that kind of thing, but I know Freddy [Couples] suffered with it over the years. But the only mistake I’ve ever made about Tiger Woods is underestimating him. He’s an unknown quantity at the moment.”

Feherty’s comments come amid much buzz and intrigue of late over Woods’ lack of competitive golf since Pebble Beach. He hasn’t played in a single tournament since his T21 at the third major of the golf season, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“I personally think if you’re serious about winning the Open you’ve got to be playing tournament golf at least before it,” Padraig Harrington said last week during the Irish Open. “You’d rather be playing links golf and being in a tournament than just [playing] on your own, so if you’re serious about trying to win the Open you should be playing at least one, if not two, of the events running into it.”

“I was always mightily impressed when Tiger Woods would play in a major without playing the week before,” Harrington continued. “I’d be a basket case if I didn’t play the week before.”

Instead of practicing on site at Portrush, a course that hasn’t hosted the Open Championship since 1951, Woods appears to be waking up at 1 a.m. to get his body clock set and ready for next week. Woods finished T6 at the 2018 Open Championship, and he’s seeking his first Claret Jug since 2006.

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