• Open Championship

Driver may be off limits for Tiger

ESPN staff
July 16, 2013

Tiger Woods could mirror his procession at Hoylake in 2006 by leaving his driver in the bag at this week's Open Championship at Muirfield.

The heatwave that has had a hold over the British Isles for the past fortnight has left Muirfield's fairways 'as hard as motorways', according to Sir Nick Faldo.

The conditions have seen many players keep the driver under cover during their practice rounds, with world No. 1 Woods among them.

Woods has shown an aptitude for links golf, with his two-shot win at Hoylake in 2006 being the third time he had lifted the Claret Jug.

On sun-baked fairways on Merseyside, Woods used his driver on only one occasion as he plotted a route from tee to green, hitting 86 per cent of fairways, with irons in hand. And it is clear that he is considering the same strategy, which would enable him to leave the often-suspect driver in the bag.

"I am looking forward to it," Woods said. "It is a fantastic championship on one of the best venues so I am looking forward to it.

"It is playing really fast, the golf course has got a bit of speed to it. It was pretty quick and I am sure they can get it really quick by the weekend."

Asked to compare Muirfield this week to Hoylake in 2006, Woods said: "I used a lot of irons (at Hoylake). I hit one driver that week. This course is playing similar to that, it is quick. I've played three days now and I have only hit a couple of drivers here.

"I was playing with Jason (Day) the other day and he's not hit a driver yet. I am hitting a lot of irons off tees and on some of the holes, 4 iron is going 280 yards, a 3 iron over 300 yards. So it is quick.

"It could change, if the wind comes out of the north east as it did in 2002."

Woods has not won a major since 2008 but he is happy with his game and how he has put himself in challenging positions.

"I feel very good about my game," Woods said. "I have won four times this year and even though I have not won a major championship in five years, I have been there in a bunch of them where I have had chances.

"I just need to keep putting myself there and I will eventually get it done."

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