For Tiger, major victories were once inevitable.
Maybe not all the way back, but Tiger Woods is in contention at a major for the first time in half a decade, and that's not a sentence we ever thought we'd type a year ago.
Woods began the day six shots back. He started Sunday four shots behind the trio of leaders, a deficit that offered no margin for error, but his inability to close it out still reminded us that winning majors is more hard than he once made it seem.
But success at this Open, on the toughest links in the rota?
Woods made the most of his good fortune to make par. 6 player in the Official World Golf Rankings isn't still on the same path considering how he's found such a stellar game at this point in his career. But Woods was behind a bunker, tried to cut it too close with a flop shot and missed the green. On the same ancient links that Ben Hogan took his lone Open title, in 1953, four years after having his legs crushed in a head-on crash with a Greyhound bus, Woods seemed on the verge of scripting his own incredible comeback.
Woods tees off at 2.25pm BST while McIlroy will be on the first tee at 2.05pm BST.
Xander Schauffele was hacking his way through fescue. "I had a chance to win a major championship".
So did Woods. "It didn't feel any different to be next to the lead and knowing what I needed to do", he said. I've done it so many different ways.
A bogey at the par-3 16th stalled the momentum, and Woods had to scramble for a par at the last after landing his drive on the bank of the Barry Burn and into the deep rough.
The 14-time major victor eventually finished three shots behind eventual champion Francesco Molinari. And then he followed it with another missed fairway with an iron at the 12th, leading to a crushing bogey. McIlroy said that even 14-time major winners need to re-learn how to win golf's biggest trophies.
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For Woods, a return to championship form would take on special meaning, given the personal demons and injuries he has overcome. A bogey on the 16th and a par save from short of the Barry Burn on the 18th gave him a 66. "I'm right there", he said.
When he birdied the 14th hole Sunday, that gave him an outside chance at getting back into the tournament, as he trailed by just 2 strokes.
That steady sequence was ended with a birdie on the par-five 14th, before a glorious approach on the 18th allowed him to pick up another shot. Woods marched grim-faced to the bridge, never turning around to acknowledge his playing partner's finishing blow. It was his first Open since missing the cut at St. Andrews in 2015.
"It certainly is possible", he said.
Big galleries are following Tiger Woods as he shoots up the British Open leaderboard.
Last weekend, Woods sat in a box at Wimbledon to watch Serena Williams contend for a 24th major title. Woods, 42, was in Sunday's third-to-last group.
"When you put yourself in position enough times, it goes your way sometimes, it doesn't go your way sometimes", Spieth said, who goes to the PGA Championship in three weeks for a chance at the career Grand Slam.
"Anyone can look at it however they want to, but I'm going to look at it as a positive moving forward and try to learn how to handle the situations a little better next time".
"It felt great to be a part of the mix and build my way into the championship".
The victory adds to Molinari's best stretch of golf. Just keep it in perspective, and the same thing with me. "It's such a great feeling".
The golfer had to be woken up by an officer according to the Probable Cause Affidavit, which stated that the auto was running at the time and Woods' right blinker was flashing.