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Tiger Woods hails warm ovation on emotional walk up 18th at St Andrews

Tiger Woods hails warm ovation on emotional walk up 18th at St Andrews

Tiger Woods hailed the ovation he received as he made an emotional walk up the 18th at St Andrews, admitting he does not know whether this was his last Open Championship at the Old Course.

Tiger Woods

Woods, who won two of his three Open titles at the historic venue in 2000 and 2005, was visibly moved as he received a warm reception from the packed grandstands around the 18th.

Knowing he would not be playing over the weekend after his second-round 75, the 15-time Major Champion removed his cap to acknowledge the cheers and waved to his adoring fans.

With The Open not due to return to St Andrews for several years, Woods is unsure whether he will be in a position to play when it does.

He said: "It's very emotional for me. 

"I've been coming here since 1995. I think the next one comes around in what, 2030, and I don't know if I will be physically able to play by then.

"So to me it felt like this might have been my last Open here at St Andrews. And the fans, the ovation and the warmth, it was an unbelievable feeling.

"I understand what Jack (Nicklaus) and Arnold (Palmer) had gone through in the past. I was kind of feeling that way there at the end.

"And just the collective warmth and understanding. They understand what golf's all about and what it takes to be an Open champion.

"And I've been lucky enough and fortunate enough to have won this twice here.

"And it felt very emotional, just because I just don't know what my health is going to be like.

"And I feel like I will be able to play future Opens, but I don't know if I'll be able to play that long that when it comes back around here, will I still be playing?"

Rory McIlroy was getting his second round under way as Woods put the finishing touches to his, and tipped his hat in the direction of the 46-year-old as he made his way along the fairway.

"I saw Rory right there," added Woods. "He gave me the tip of the cap. 

"It was pretty cool. The nods I was getting from guys as they were going out and I was coming in, just the respect, that was pretty neat.

Tiger Woods

"And from a players' fraternity level, it's neat to see that and feel that.

"And then as I got closer to the green, more into the hole, the ovation got louder and you could feel the warmth and you could feel the people from both sides. Felt like the whole tournament was right there.

"And they all had appreciated what I've done here for the years I've played.

"I've won two championships here - my Open success and all my times I've enjoyed here in Scotland and playing, I felt like it just came to a head right there as I was walking to my golf ball."

U.S. Open Champion Matt Fitzpatrick was playing in the same group as Woods and said the ovation will live long in his memory.

"It was amazing," said Fitzpatrick after his 66 took him to six under par. "It gave me goosebumps. Just looking around, seeing everyone stood up, and giving him a standing ovation coming down 18.

"Yeah, it was incredible. It's something that will live with me forever, for sure.

"It's thoroughly deserved, and I think towards the end of it, you could see he was a little bit emotional as well. Yeah, it was a big deal."

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