Tiger Woods has admitted the possibility of jeopardising his chance to play in The 150th Open at St Andrews was the reason for him sitting out of the US Open.
Woods withdrew after three rounds of the PGA Championship in May and elected to sit out of last month’s US Open in Brookline last month due to injury, with the former world No 1 revealing that his body “needed more time to get stronger” and continue his recovery.
The 46-year-old confirmed back in April that he would definitely appear in The 150th Open at St Andrews, exclusively live on Sky Sports, with Woods electing to return to action at the JP McManus Pro-Am this week ahead of the final men’s major of the year.
“The plan was to play the U.S. Open but physically I was not able to do that,” Woods told reporters at the JP McManus Pro-Am. “There’s no way physically I could have done that.
“I had some issues with my leg and it would have put this tournament [The Open] in jeopardy and there’s no reason to do that. This is a pretty historic Open that we are going to be playing.
“I’m lucky enough to be part of the past champions that have won there and want to play there again. I don’t know when they are ever going to go back while I’m still able to play at a high level, and I want to be able to give it at least one more run at a high level.”
The 15-time major champion has only played in three televised tournaments since suffering career-threatening injuries in last February’s car crash in Los Angeles, competing alongside his son in December’s PNC Championship before featuring in the first two men’s majors of 2022.
“It has been worth it,” Woods added about his long road to recovery. “It has been hard. I’ve had some very difficult days and some days which moving off the couch is a hell of a task, and that’s just the way it is.
“As I said, I’m very thankful for all the support I’ve gotten, my treatment staff, all of my surgeons who are repairing this leg and keeping it. So I have my own two legs, which I’m not going to take it for granted anymore, some people do.
“If you asked me last year whether I would play golf again, all of my surgeons would have said no. But here I am playing two major championships this year.
“I will always be able to play golf, whether it’s this leg or someone else’s leg or false leg or different body pieces that have been replaced or fused, I’ll always be able to play. Now if you say play at a championship level, well, that window is definitely not as long as I would like it to be.”