Caddie: Tiger Woods Struggled Early in 18-Hole Practice but Had 'Encouraging' Finish

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 10, 2022

ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND - JULY 10: Tiger Woods of the United States looks on during a practice round prior to The 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course on July 10, 2022 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images

Tiger Woods' 18-hole practice round Sunday at the Old Course at St. Andrews in anticipation of next week's Open Championship was a mixed bag.

Following the round, Woods' caddie Joe LaCava told ESPN's Mark Schlabach: "He was struggling early but came on as the day went on. That's encouraging."

Woods, who played the round with fellow PGA Tour star and friend Justin Thomas, declined to speak to reporters afterward, but he is scheduled to address the media Monday.

Per Schlabach, Woods had three birdies during his practice round, including one on No. 18 after driving the green and leaving an eagle putt just short.

Since suffering serious leg injuries from a car crash in February 2021, Woods has played sparingly, opting to focus primarily on major tournaments.

He made his return to competitive golf in April at the Masters and also played the PGA Championship, but he sat out the U.S. Open to rest his ailing right leg.

Woods impressively made the cut at both the Masters and PGA Championship despite the long layoff, but he finished just 47th at the Masters and withdrew after three rounds at the PGA Championship because of leg pain.

Sunday marked the first time Woods played an 18-hole practice round before a major this year, as he opted for nine-hole practice rounds before the Masters and PGA Championship.

The 46-year-old Woods, who is second all-time with 15 major titles, is a three-time Open Championship winner, with two of them coming at St. Andrew's.

Woods will get a bit more prep in Monday when he plays alongside Rory McIlroy, Lee Trevino and Georgia Hall for four holes as part of the Celebration of Champions.