Open Preview: Tiger takes inspiration from Federer

Published 14/07/2009 20:12:03

Tiger Woods and Roger Federer share more than just a Gillette sponsorship, the two superstars are friends and in regular contact - and a little rivalry. So after Roger's recent ascension to the most decorated tennis player of all time and passing Woods' total of grand slams in doing so, you'd expect a little banter between the two.


"That hasn't happened at all. Roger's been great. Our texts back and forth have always been jabby here and there. But we're also supportive of one another. That's what friends do. Roger is as down-to-earth as a person as you'd ever want to meet, given the amount of success he's had. It's just phenomenal to see all that hard work he's put in, then to get to 15 and the record for the most slams."


Woods stands on 14 majors ahead of this week's Open at Turnberry but can approach the Open Championship in confident mood after winning three events already this year.


"Any time you have the chance to lift the Claret jug, it's special. It's been special for me three times, and hopefully I can do it again."


Tiger showed he can master a links course at blustery Royal Liverpool in 2006 - an event where he used his driver just once in the whole four days. It was a masterclass in accurate golf and improvised shotmaking that none of his contemporaries can live with.

So what does Tiger make of Turnberry - he hasn't visited the course before but has already hit three practice rounds in three days.


"It's one where you have to be committed to either putting the ball short of the bunkers, or carrying them, or skirting it past them.

"You have to make sure you really know what you're doing out there, especially with the cross winds on some of the slanted fairways. As for hitting the driver, it will all depend on the wind. That's what's so hard about links golf, it's hard to tell you if I'm going to hit 10 drivers in a round or zero drivers."


Most pundits are prediciting a difficult time for the professionals out there so what are Tiger's final words on the course?

"It's a lot more difficult than people are letting on".


Amen Tiger, Amen.



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