Tiger Woods gets emotional send off from St. Andrews after missing cut


Tiger Woods eliminated his cap a couple of strides from Swilcan Bridge, figuring out Friday may be the final time he crossed over in a British Open at St. Andrews.

That is the place the legends pause, pose and wave goodbye.

“Cease! Cease!” a couple of photographers cried out as they positioned themselves for an additional historic second on the house of golf.

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Woods stored proper on strolling, whilst tears started to kind in his eyes.

“That’s after I began to understand — that’s after I began occupied with — the following time it comes round right here, I won’t be round,” Woods stated.

He stated this would not be his final British Open. Woods simply would not know if his 46-year-old physique, battered by a number of surgical procedures on each legs and his again, can be match sufficient to compete when it returns to the house of golf. Woods talked about 2030. The R&A hasn’t introduced the rotation that far out.

Nonetheless, the second was not misplaced on him.

Woods saluted the 1000’s of followers within the grandstands on the left, and 1000’s extra who watched from lodge balconies and rooftops on the perimeter of the Outdated Course, some peering by home windows, others and not using a ticket hanging from the highest of the fence on the street down the best aspect of the 18th fairway.

Rory McIlroy appeared over at him from the primary fairway — he was beginning his second spherical as Woods was ending a 75 to overlook the reduce — and tipped his cap. Justin Thomas was on the primary tee and nodded to Woods.

“As I obtained nearer to the inexperienced, the ovation obtained louder,” Woods stated. “You possibly can really feel the heat and you possibly can really feel the individuals from each side. Felt like the entire match was proper there.”

It might as nicely have been.

That is the place Woods gained his first Open in 2000 to develop into the youngest participant to finish the profession Grand Slam. He gained one other claret jug at St. Andrews in 2005, the 12 months Jack Nicklaus completed his main championship profession.

Nobody has ever gained an Open at St. Andrews 3 times, and Woods wasn’t about to alter that. The one factor ceremonial for him was his golf — a 78 within the first spherical, just one birdie within the second spherical regardless of probably the most benign situations of the week.

Irrespective of. The Outdated Course, which had been comparatively quiet all morning, got here to life the nearer he made his approach to the end.

“The individuals knew that I wasn’t going to make the reduce,” Woods stated. “However the ovations obtained louder as I used to be coming house. And that to me was … simply the respect. I’ve at all times revered this occasion. I’ve at all times revered the traditions of the sport.”

“I put my coronary heart and soul into this occasion through the years,” he stated. “And I believe the individuals have appreciated my play.”

Woods gave them little to rejoice on what may be his closing spherical at St. Andrews. He solely had 4 cheap birdie possibilities. His flop shot over a pot bunker guarding the entrance pin on the sixteenth hit the highest and rolled again into the sand, resulting in his third double bogey of the week.

By then, it did not matter. The individuals simply needed to see him.

After he ripped his drive over the Outdated Course Lodge signal and into the seventeenth fairway, lodge company and spectators lined up in opposition to the wall in entrance of the lodge and the Jigger Inn. The grandstand was full behind the seventeenth, and other people stood six deep within the house behind the street and the stands.

It was just like when Nicklaus performed for the final time in 2005. He was 65 and had introduced months out it will be his final Open, his 166th and closing main. Everybody knew it was coming.

Not even Woods is aware of his future, solely that he was grateful — and fortunate — to be enjoying an Open on the Outdated Course simply 17 months after he crashed his automobile in Los Angeles and sustained so many damaged bones that docs contemplated amputation on his proper leg.

He headed to the 18th tee, the house gap. All he stated he might take into consideration was whether or not to hit 3-wood or 5-wood. However as he walked off the tee and obtained nearer to the bridge, he realized his caddie, Joe LaCava, was lagging behind. So had been Matt Fitzpatrick and Max Homa, who rode shotgun for an emotional day involving the very best participant of their lifetimes in golf.

“It was wonderful. It gave me goosebumps,” stated Fitzpatrick, who gained his first main final month within the U.S. Open. “Simply wanting round, seeing everybody stood up, and giving him a standing ovation coming down 18. It was unimaginable. It’s one thing that can stay with me ceaselessly.

“It’s totally deserved, and I believe in the direction of the top of it, you possibly can see he was a bit bit emotional as nicely. Yeah, it was an enormous deal.”

Not even Woods might deny that. He simply wished he might have written a greater ending. He chipped with a mid-iron to about 4 ft for one final probability at birdie, a becoming farewell. Thomas, Shane Lowry and Viktor Hovland had been at their second photographs to the primary gap. All of them turned to look at Woods end out.

He missed the putt.

All that mattered to Woods was an ovation he will not neglect.

“It’s extremely emotional for me,” he stated. “To me it felt like this might need been my final British Open right here at St. Andrews. And the followers, the ovation and the heat, it was an unbelievable feeling, I perceive what Jack and Arnold (Palmer) had gone by previously. I used to be type of feeling that means there on the finish.”

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