Tiger Woods: Carnoustie Is 'Most Difficult' Course in British Open Rotation

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2018

Tiger Woods smiles as he walks on the 16th fairway during the final round of the Quicken Loans National golf tournament, Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Potomac, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Tiger Woods is looking forward to playing in his first Open Championship since 2015, but he knows it will be a challenge.

"I have missed not playing The Open in a while because this is our oldest tournament," the golfer said Sunday, per Bob Harig of ESPN. "And then coming here to Carnoustie, it is special. This is my fourth time playing it as a tournament. From my first time coming here as an amateur to being back now, it's just amazing how this course doesn't change. It is right in front of you. It's hard. It's probably the most difficult one we play in the whole rotation."

Woods has played the British Open at this course twice, finishing tied for seventh in 1999 and tied for 12th in 2007.

There are currently 10 courses in the tournament's rotation, although Europeans have tended to fare better at the Carnoustie Golf Links in AngusScotland, during the past few events. Irish star Padraig Harrington won in 2007, while Paul Lawrie of Scotland won in front of the home fans in 1999.

Woods has won the event three times as part of his 14 career major titles, twice at St. Andrews and once at Royal Liverpool.

The 42-year-old is playing consistently for the first time since the 2015 season after dealing with back problems throughout the past two years. While expectations have been high, he has made the cut in nine of 11 events so far with three top-10 finishes.

After tying for fourth at the Quicken Loans National, he is now at 20-1 odds to win The Open Championship, per OddsShark. Only six golfers currently have better odds.

The challenge will be navigating a difficult course that will feature a unique style of play.

"Right now the fairways are faster than the greens," Woods said, per Harig.

He is seeking his first major title since 2008.