"Professional golf is in such good shape at the moment, there are established players and talented young players who have really a made a name for themselves, it really is exciting and hard to predict what might happen", he said.
"This will be my fourth time playing The Open at Carnoustie and looking back when I first came here as an amateur (1999) compared to now it is just awesome the golf course has not really changed that much".
Woods, who has failed to sparkle at the two majors this year, tied for 32nd in The Masters and missed the cut at a punishing US Open. Look at what Tom (Watson) did at Turnberry at 59.
"You get to places like Augusta where it is just a big ball park and the golf course outgrows you unfortunately. That's just the way it goes", Woods continued.
"There's not a lot of opportunities to hit the driver just because the ball is going to be rolling 80 yards".
"But creativity plays such an important role".
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"Like there were shots out there today where I was hitting a 7-iron off a par-4 and you just don't do that very often and it is one of those feel things". I was hitting nine-irons and four-irons and five-irons, just having a blast trying to hit the sign.
Woods will use a new two-iron this week to plot his way around Carnoustie, which remains rock hard and parched, despite a spot of light rain that fell while he was talking to the media. McIlroy has also finished 1, T5, and T4 in his last three Open Championship appearances.
"To be honest with you, I have struggled on slower greens throughout my entire career", Woods said prior to an afternoon practice round.
"You are not going to get the flawless bounces and that is part of it".
"But then it is going to be one of those weeks where you will not see the guys hitting woods off the tee given the fairways are so quick as it going to be all about keeping the ball in front of you".
"That's just part of it". Greg (Norman) was there at Birkdale (in 2008) I think at 54-ish.