Tiger Woods Returns To St Andrews Ahead Of 150th Open

Tiger was spotted alongside close friend, Justin Thomas, as both practised till 11pm at the Old Course

Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas walk down the fairway at St Andrews
(Image credit: Getty Images)

An Open Championship is always a special occasion. However, add in the fact that it's the 150th edition at St Andrews and that occasion has been ramped up even more!

Already a huge, huge event, the appearance of Tiger Woods has only increased the atmosphere around the tournament, with the three-time Claret Jug winner spotted playing St Andrews with Justin Thomas into the late hours of the night.

Carrying just a putter and a handful of wedges, the Major winners practised on the iconic layout to nearly 11pm, with both men then returning to the Old Course early on Sunday, as both ramped up preparation for the final men's Major of the year.

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What's amazing about the Old Course is that it remained open to the public throughout Saturday, just a week before the World's elite will be making it to the really serious end of The Open Championship.

At 7pm on a beautiful evening, those in attendance saw Tiger make an appearance, with the 15-time Major winner joined by his good friend, Justin Thomas. Tiger, who has won the Claret Jug at the Home of Golf twice, claims that St Andrews is his "favourite course," with the 46-year-old back to familiarise himself with the layout. 

What's more, because it was open to the public, those in attendance were able to get near the Hall of Famer, with crowds keeping a respectful distance as both practised throughout the evening.

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After rounding up his practice session, which primarily focused on chipping and putting, Tiger and JT returned on Sunday morning for yet further practice. However, Tiger seemed to be hobbling considerably, with Sky Sports reporter, Jamie Weir, who was present at St Andrews, stating: "He does not look in a great deal of comfort".

Tiger is set to tee it up at The R&A's Celebration of Champions on Monday, where he will play alongside Rory McIlroy, Georgia Hall and Lee Trevino. From there, he will attend the Champions Dinner on Tuesday, with the tournament getting underway on Thursday.

It's the third competitive event that the 46-year-old has played following his serious car crash back in February 2021. At Augusta, Tiger amazingly made the cut before visibly struggling on the weekend. After the Masters, he featured at the PGA Championship, where he withdrew before the final round. Electing to skip the US Open, Tiger then featured in the JP McManus Pro-Am, using a golf cart, before playing a round with Rory McIlroy at Ballybunion.

Matt Cradock
Matt Cradock

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.