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Page last updated at 13:05 GMT, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 14:05 UK

Woods fired up for Open success

The 138th Open, Turnberry
Date: 16-19 July
Coverage: Live TV coverage on BBC Two, Online and the Red Button, live on Radio 5 Live and text commentary online on all four days

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Woods takes inspiration from Federer

World number one Tiger Woods is in buoyant mood as he prepares for this week's Open at Turnberry in Scotland.

Woods has already won three tournaments since returning to action in February after knee surgery and his quest for a 15th major title begins on Thursday.

After finishing sixth in both The Masters and US Open, Woods said: "I've not won a major, but I've come close.

"I've put myself in position and just haven't done it. But three wins this year - it's been a tremendous success."

Woods, three-times winner of the Open, kicks off this year's challenge alongside England's Lee Westwood when the opening round gets under way.

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Just a year ago, Woods was recovering from his reconstructive knee surgery and had to watch on television as Padraig Harrington lifted the Claret jug at Birkdale, with Ian Poulter and Greg Norman grabbing second and third.

The 33-year-old added: "My day consisted of trying to get from bed to the couch and then back to bed.

"I caught the last nine holes of it and what Paddy did was pretty phenomenal - a back-nine 32 I believe when it really mattered. He had to shoot a number and he did."

Woods tees off at 0909 BST with Westwood and 17-year-old rising Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa, who narrowly missed the cut at the Masters in April after getting into the elite Augusta field on a special invitation.

Regarding his young rival, Woods said: "There's no reason why he can't play well the first two days and into the weekend. And hopefully I can do the same."

Last year's champion Harrington, who has struggled since tinkering with his swing over the winter, is trying to become only the second player in the last century to win golf's oldest championship three successive years.

Harrington not looking to create history

Despite missing five straight cuts on the US and European tours coming into Turnberry, he did win last week's Irish PGA and is confident his experience can lead to an Open hat-trick.

"The one thing I know is that if I get in position, I can win. That's the nice thing," the 37-year-old Dubliner said.

"Others can get there, but they won't win. I'm going for three in a row, so the spotlight is on me. It's not made it harder, but it's certainly made it more high profile.

"It's probably a little harder to do when it's as high profile. It's not as easy to do your own thing and just work away at it. But going forward, I'm going to be a better player and that's all that counts to me."

Harrington will tee off at 1420 with American Jim Furyk and Australian Geoff Ogilvy.

Meanwhile, US Open champion Lucas Glover admitted that despite his surprise win last month, he will remain unknown to most golf fans in Scotland.

"The ones that do recognise me are very nice and the ones that don't are asking the ones that do who that is," the 29-year-old American said.

Paul Casey
Paul Casey is hoping to make his mark at Turnberry this year

"The phone rings a little bit more and there are just a few more expectations but nothing drastic has changed since the win. It's been fun."

World number three Paul Casey is playing the tournament for the eighth time, and with a seventh place at Royal Birkdale last year his best finish, he is determined to impress in a majors.

"I've got to keep plugging away and improving the game. It's not good enough to be tied for the lead with the last nine holes to go," Casey said, who is drawn to play with Japan's Ryuji Imada and Masters champion Angel Cabrera.

"I want to be tied for the lead or one shot back or one shot ahead with three or four to go, that's when it really counts, and see what I'm made of, because I think I'd have a pretty good shot."

Kenny Perry returns after a two-year absence and is in hot form having overcome the huge disappointment of missing out on becoming the oldest player to win a major at the Masters in April.

"I've always loved this Open," Perry said. "I've always enjoyed playing over here. I tell everybody it's like playing on the moon, because it's so different to me.

"I think eighth is my best finish here. I haven't played many Opens. But my game has got better. If I can figure out a way to get in contention on Sunday, I don't think I'll back down. I think I'll be ready to go."



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see also
Woods and Westwood paired at Open
13 Jul 09 |  Golf
Monty unhappy with Lyle apology
15 Jul 09 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf
Open round four tee-off times
18 Jul 09 |  Golf
Turnberry gallery
14 Jul 09 |  Golf
Memories of Turnberry
13 Jul 09 |  Golf
Behind the scenes at the Open
14 Jul 09 |  Golf
Levet handed place in Open field
14 Jul 09 |  Golf
Mickelson confirms Open absence
10 Jul 09 |  Golf
Kaymer clinches Scottish Open win
12 Jul 09 |  Golf
Els expects tough Turnberry test
09 Jul 09 |  Golf


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