Subdued Tiger expects to roar back at St Andrew’s

Tiger
Woods is still trying to strike the right balance between his private life and
golf ahead of the British Open at St Andrew’s in Scotland next week.

Speaking
to the media after scoring a dismal round of 79 at an invitational event in
Ireland on Tuesday, the 34-year-old revealed that he would be returning home to
Florida to spend time with his children instead of remaining in Europe to
practice for the 15-18 July major tournament.

But
in his first European appearance since his self-imposed absence from the game
following his admitted extra-marital affairs, the 14-time major winner did not
show the humility he displayed at a February press conference in the US when he
publicly apologised for his behaviour.

Instead,
Woods was short, and occasionally silent, when met with questions about his
personal life. When asked why he would not be practicing on a links course
ahead of the British Open, he replied abruptly: “Because I need to go home.

“Golf
is something I have done for a very long time, and there are times in one’s
life when things get put into perspective. 
When pressed for a specific reason, he added: “To see my kids.” He is
going through an expensive divorce at present, rumoured to be costing him $100
million.

He
also hinted that golf had become more trivial to him since the details of his
private life were made public late last year. “Golf is something I have done
for a very long time, and there are times in one’s life when things get put
into perspective. One was when my father passed, and also what I have been
going through lately.”

However,
the world’s No. 1 golfer was more forthcoming when questioned over how his game
has been progressing since his return to competition earlier in the year.

“I
felt I made some good strides last week,” Woods said of his performance at the
AT&T National in Pennsylvania, where he finished tied for 46th place.

The
three-time British Open champion also spoke of his love of the Scottish coastal
course, and how he would love to win golf’s biggest tournament again.

“It’s a fantastic
course and what genius it took to lay it out that way. This is where it all
started, there is a special feeling. To walk up the last hole, I’ve had that at
other championships before but this one is different. To win at the home of
golf that would be what every champion wants to have happen.”

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