The 2022 British Open at St. Andrews was both a reflective and unsuccessful campaign for Tiger Woods and could mark the end of the golf legend’s great run at what he’s called his favorite course.
On Sunday, it was Australia’s Cameron Smith who captured his first major victory with five consecutive birdies on the back nine for an 8-under 64 in Fife, Scotland. But for many golf fans, the 150th edition of the Open will be remembered for Woods’ possible farewell.
St. Andrews holds a special place for Woods. He won at the famed Scottish course in 2000 and then again in 2005. It was in those years that many golf fans were accepting Woods as the greatest to ever play.
The personal struggles would mount for Woods in November 2009 and carry over in the years that followed. In 2010, Woods finished the first round tied for eighth before finishing tied for 28th. In 2015, he missed the cut.
On Friday, Woods bowed out with a 3-over par. The 15-time major champion admitted to shedding a tear as he walked across the famed Swilcan Bridge for perhaps a final time.
Due to the five-year rotation, The Open won’t return to St. Andrews until 2027 when Woods will be 51. It appeared to set in for the crowd that this may be his last Open at St. Andrews, arguably the most iconic golf course in the world.
“I’m not retiring from the game,” Woods said. “But I don’t know if I will be physically able to play back here again when it comes back around. I’ll be able to play future British Opens, yes. But eight years’ time? I doubt if I’ll be competitive at this level.”
Woods’ play in the first two rounds was mostly forgettable. But the 2022 Open Championship may be long remembered for Woods on the 18th fairway and the grandstand crowd delivering a five-minute standing ovation.