Woods, 43, is one of the favourites going into Portrush along with the likes of Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose amongst others.
Ahead of the tournament Woods visited Thailand and told GolfTV about his time in Asia.
“The first couple of weeks were fantastic. We got the chance to go to Thailand. Mom’s health, you know, she’s 75 years old, so she’s struggling a little bit.
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“Overseas trips like that she can’t really do any more, so we wanted to have the kids experience it with my Mom at least one time. And so they got the chance to see the Grand Palace, see different things, rode elephants, rode little tuk-tuks in downtown Bangkok . A lot of little things that, I think, the kids will always remember. And, again, it was a really proud moment for my Mom.”
When asked about riding the elephants Woods replied “I did! I did. Charlie [Tiger’s son] and I rode together.”
Woods was then asked about the greens at Portrush and how he’s planning to approach the course. “Well I think that these greens are different to most we play. They repel a lot of shots. They’re domed. Very much more like Pinehurst than they are true Links. Usually you funnel golf balls onto the greens. Here they seem to repel a lot. You’re going to get a lot of guys here putting from off the greens, chipping using hybrids, 3-irons, 4-irons.
“Using a lot of different shots from around the greens because the R&A has the chance to put some pretty tough pins out there. There’s not a lot of room on a lot of locations, on the little shelves. The greens are a little bit on the slow side, I think they’re trying to protect it, especially with the weather coming in they don’t want to get the greens too fast with the wind blowing too much.
“The golf course is slow right now because it’s so lush and so green. But what’s interesting is that the first hop has been pretty springy, the second hop a little bit, and it takes three or four hops before the ball starts checking. That part has been a little bit different, because you’re expecting softer conditions, greens are lush, fairways are lush, lies are nice and tight and you feel you can spin the ball. But they’re just not grabbing. So that’s been a little bit of a challenge. We’re going to have to do some work this afternoon and a little bit tomorrow.”
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