Thursday 29 September 2016

Woods shows old form with best round of year

James Corrigan

Published 03/07/2015 | 02:30

Tiger Woods takes his second shot on the 17th hole during the first round of the Greenbrier Classic at the Old White TPC on July 2 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods takes his second shot on the 17th hole during the first round of the Greenbrier Classic at the Old White TPC on July 2 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (Darren Carroll/Getty Images)

As if the build-up to the British Open Championship did not contain spice enough, Tiger Woods showed a flavour of his old self with a 66 - his lowest competitive score in 16 months - at the Greenbrier Classic yesterday.

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The 39-year-old was unrecognisable from the shambles which characterised his 80 and 76 to miss the cut at the US Open two weeks ago with the highest 36-hole total of his 19-year professional career.

Woods hit 10 of the 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation - and, just as importantly, his motion looked smooth and his mood confident.

Most impressively, he shrugged off a sloppy double bogey on his 15th hole (the sixth) by finishing with three straight birdies.

Dare we say it was a 'Tigeresque' response from the player now 220th in the world rankings.

"I told myself (after the sixth on the 470-yard par-four), I'm not going to lose this round - I'm playing too well," Woods said.

"I was trying to get it back to three under, to pull off the hat-trick coming home (to move to four under) was very nice."

Self-belief

At the very least he will be looking to make the cut and then he can focus on the weekend and building some much-needed self-belief as he tries to win at St Andrews for the third time.

Before this round, Woods was reckoned to be a 50-1 shot for the Open at the course where he won his first two Claret Jugs by a combined 13 shots.

This was only his fourth round in the sixties in his last 21 rounds - which have also featured three scores in the eighties - and, although, the course in West Virginia was eminently "gettable", with Woods's fellow American Scott Langley leading in the clubhouse with a 62, this was extremely encouraging and suggested his new swing under Chris Como is finally bedding in.

Three Englishmen were also high up with Brian Davis firing a 64, Greg Owen a 65 and Paul Casey, beaten in a play-off in Connecticut last Sunday, alongside Woods on 66. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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