R&A chief keen to see ail­ing Tiger Woods back

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

The head of golf’s gov­ern­ing body has ex­pressed his hope that former world num­ber one Tiger Woods will one day fea­ture again at a Bri­tish Open. This year’s cham­pi­onship tees off on Thurs­day at Royal Birk­dale in the town of South­port, north­west Eng­land, with Woods again ab­sent. The 41-year-old’s at­tempts to res­ur­rect his ca­reer have been hit by a se­ries of op­er­a­tions on his back since 2014, and he has made only one top-20 fin­ish in the past two sea­sons. His ab­sence this week means it is now seven straight ma­jors that he has sat out. “I think the sport should be eter­nally grate­ful for the trans­for­ma­tion he drove in golf. I would love to see him tee it up here again,” R&A chief ex­ec­u­tive Martin Slum­bers said at Birk­dale yes­ter­day ahead of the start of this year’s Open. Woods has won 14 ma­jors and once held the world num­ber one rank­ing for a record 683 weeks. But this year Woods’ re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion from in­jury was over­shad­owed by his ar­rest in May for driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence. “I hope he gets well. I hope he gets fit. I hope he falls back in love with golf. I hope he tees it up at the Open. He’d be ex­tremely wel­come,” added Slum­bers. Woods has won the Open three times, most re­cently at Hoy­lake, not far from Birk­dale, in 2006. — AFP

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