Jul
13
2013
Sunny forecast for Tiger’s elbow and Muirfield…for now.
By Stephanie Wei under The Open Championship
Sunny skies forecasted for Tiger's elbow and Muirfield...for now.

Tiger ran into some bad weather conditions when the Open was last held at Muirfield in ’02

After resting and rehabilitating his injured left elbow, which hampered him at last month’s U.S. Open and sidelined him from playing in his own event, the AT&T National, Tiger Woods says he’s ready for next week’s Open Championship.

On Saturday morning, Woods released a blog post on his website and announced he’s “confident” his ailing elbow won’t be a hindrance in his quest to break his five-year major-less drought, but it’ll be important for him to stay out of Muirfield’s heavy rough.

“I started chipping and putting a little over a week ago and I’m full go for the British Open,” said Woods, via his website. “I’m very confident that my left elbow strain won’t be a problem and I will be able to hit all the shots I need to hit. That’s why I took the time off, so it could heal, and I would feel comfortable playing again. I’m still taking anti-inflammatory medication for my elbow and getting treatment, but the big thing at Muirfield Golf Club will be to avoid the rough.”

Hitting out of the thick U.S.-Open rough at Merion is what aggravated Tiger’s injury, which he sustained at The Players, in the first place.

“Although I have been playing every day, I also have to get back into a competitive feel,” he said. “The practice rounds are going to be important for how that particular golf course is playing. Whether we’re going to need to hit the ball higher or lower, what the conditions are and what the weather is going to be. It’s a little different than Florida. I’ll just bring an assortment of clothing for any weather.”

Well, I’m sure he’s probably tuned into the Scottish Open this week, so he knows it’s been dry and unusually warm for this area, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s checked the forecast, which shows that this “heat wave” in Scotland is supposed to continue through next week for the Open.

“Muirfield is one of the hardest courses in Scotland,” added Woods, who is the favorite going into the championship. “The front nine is basically played clockwise and the back nine is played counter-clockwise and on the inside of the front nine. You have to shape the golf ball both ways, and you never know what’s going to come off that water as far as wind. It can change directions. If the wind switches, you can be aggressive on certain holes and others you have to be conservative. That’s the neat thing about a British Open: You just never know what type of conditions you’re going to get each day.

“I love the creativity of being able to hit shots and utilize the ground as an asset. That’s something that we don’t have in the states; we don’t really play that game here.”

Agreed. Golf is so much more fun in Scotland.

(Getty Images)