Tiger Woods returns to the scene of emotional triumph at Hoylake


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The Independent Online

Tiger Woods spent his second day at Royal Liverpool re-acquainting himself with the Hoylake links where he produced an emotional victory in 2006, two months after the death of his father.

Apart from his ball cannoning off the back of one spectator when he pulled his approach to the 16th, the three-time Open champion had a relatively uneventful practice round as he prepared for only his second event since undergoing surgery on his back in March.

In keeping with the tactic which propelled him to victory on this course eight years ago – when he hit one driver in 72 holes – the American kept the big stick in his bag throughout.

Even on the par-five eighth into the wind Woods hit a three wood and still sent it out as far as playing partner Matt Kuchar hit his driver.

Many tee shots were also made with irons as Woods, who has not won a major since the 2008 US Open, stuck to his game plan of avoiding the dangers posed by Hoylake’s bunkers.

It is a ploy which will not suit everyone, but fits Woods, often wayward with his drivers, perfectly.

“We play a different game off the tee. My driver is as strong as his three wood,” said Kuchar. “It’s interesting to see his perspective and you can see him plotting the golf course  to ensure you avoid the  pot bunkers.”