It’s been an emotional week for so many of us here at St Andrews, there’s something in the air. But nothing like seeing Tiger Woods pull his cap over his face because he had tears streaming down as he heard an unbelievble ovation from the crowds who filled the 18th stands and lined the fairways. cheering, stamping their feet in approval, applauding him onto the green.
But – he didn’t stop on the Swilkan Bridge.
And that is a hopeful sign that he’s not done with golf yet. If he had stopped and doffed his cap, as Jack and Arnie and Tom and so many great Open champions have done before to make their final bow to the game at the home of golf, we could well have known that a retirement statement was coming. But after he signed his scorecard to miss the cut he stopped to talk to the host broadcaster.
“It was an unbelievable warm ovation and very emotional for me. The collective warmth and understanding. I’ve been coming here since 1995 and the next Open at St Andrews may not be until 2030. I just don’t know how my health will be, whether I’ll be able to compete at St Andrews. I’m sure there will be more Opens, but maybe not at St Andrews. I just don’t know if I’ll still be playing”.
So there’s our answer. When Tiger chooses to bow out, it won’t be here at the home of golf. Unless the R&A return to the five year rotation to bring the Open back to St Andrews perhaps, or even sooner. Perhaps it will be Goodbye World at Augusta. But for now, we can breathe out that Tiger plans to still stick around and compete on his own terms as he is able.