TIGER WOODS has revealed how heartbroken he is at missing this year’s Open — saying his Hoylake victory in 2006 was one of the most emotional weeks of his life.
Woods’ third, and most recent, Open triumph came just a couple of months after the death of his father, Earl, from prostate cancer.
GettyTiger Woods was trained by his farther Earl from a young age[/caption]
GettyHe has won The Open three times throughout his career[/caption]
After he sank his final putt, the 15-time Major champion broke down in tears on the shoulder of caddie Steve Williams, a rare display of emotion from Woods.
He recalled: “That week in 2006 was a very emotional one. It was the first championship I ever won without my dad being there. It was a tough, tough week, but also probably the most gratifying that I have ever experienced over there.
Woods, 47, has to sit out this year after undergoing another operation on the right leg he mangled in an horrific car crash 18 months ago, an injury that threatens to bring an end to his glittering career.
But he sent a video message detailing his love of The Open, to acknowledge an award from the Association of Golf Writers, for outstanding services to the game.
And it was obvious how much Woods wishes he was here in the North West of England this week for The 151st Open.
He said: “My years of playing The Open Championship — starting at St Andrews in 1995 — have provided some of the greatest moments, and greatest memories, I have had not just in my golfing career, but in my whole life.
“Those memories include my first win at St Andrews in 2000, winning again at the Home of Golf in 2005, and on to where everyone is playing this week, at Hoylake.”
But he admitted not all his Open memories were happy ones.
The American legend had to play in a near-hurricane at Muirfield in 2002 as a third-round 81 wrecked his chances of the first-ever calendar Grand Slam.
But failing to break 80 for the first time as a pro saw him crash out of contention as Ernie Els triumphed.
He grimaced: “Some days are tough and I particularly remember that Saturday in 2002 at Muirfield.
“That was the worst day I have ever known and probably the worst in the history of golf.
“I have never felt that cold, I have never felt that wet and I have never felt that miserable.
GettyWoods broke down in tears when he won The Open Championship in 2006[/caption]
PAHe hugged his caddy in a moment of high emotions[/caption]
“And it was fun after the round talking to you guys, because most of you bailed — and we wanted to do that, too!
“I remember a couple of my friends among the writers from the UK offering me cups of coffee when I walked in to speak to you.
“That was great and I have enjoyed my relationship over the years with the writers and the fans who really understand and respect the sport.
“I just want to say thank you for bringing joy to my life when I go over there to play The Open Championship — the history, the knowledge, the passing on of stories so I can pass them on to my son and to future generations.”
Woods grinned as he admitted his dealings with the British press over the years had sometimes been a love-hate relationship.
He said: “My career has spanned a number of years — a number of decades — and I have formed some great relationships with the media.
“And I have also seen some other sides to the media that were a bit different.
“There has certainly been an ‘interesting’ side to my relationship with the media over the years!
“There have been some very ‘creative’ writers and some eclectic stories that have been told during the Championship week.”
But it is Woods’ golf — and not his sometimes chequered private life — that has written some of The Open’s most famous plotlines.
ReutersRory McIlroy is a good friend of Woods and will be competing to try and win his first major since 2014 this week[/caption]