The storyline heading in to the 2013 Open Championship was all about whether Tiger Woods’ elbow injury would hold up, but as he heads into the final round at Muirfield two shots behind leader Lee Westwood, all the talk is about whether he can win his 15th Major.
Much like his victory at Hoylake in 2006, the driver is yet to leave the bag of Woods and he is currently ninth in driving accuracy for the week – emulating his stats from that week seven years ago – hitting 21 of 28 fairways and 24 of 36 greens through the first two rounds at Muirfield.
“I’ve hit, I believe, about eight or ten,” Woods said, when asked about his driver, before continuing, “On the range.”
The conservative approach from Woods shows how much his mental side of the game has improved as it’s helped him to rounds of 69, 71 and 72 on a course that requires distance control off the tee, as the fairways and greens continue to dry out with no sign of the customary British Open rain.
“Just a grind, I’m just being very patient out there,” Woods said after his round on Saturday.
The man that everyone has to catch though is Westwood. The Englishman enjoys a two-shot cushion at the top of the leader board, and with the home crowd right behind him, he could be hard to catch providing that the pressure doesn’t get to him.
Westwood is considered as one of the best players not to win a Major, but that could all change when the Claret Jug is presented later today. Westwood will be paired with fellow Sean Foley client, Hunter Mahan, in the final group on Sunday.
Woods will join Adam Scott and his caddie, who is in fact Woods’ ex caddie, Steve Williams in the penultimate group. Scott will be looking to put last year’s disappointing back nine crash to bed, and win his second Major title of the year.
While his Majors drought stretches back now to the 2008 US Open, another measured performance on Sunday by Woods will put him right in the thick of the action.