PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland — Tiger Woods practiced for a second straight day at Royal Portrush on Monday morning. A day after teeing it up alongside Patrick Reed, the 15-time major champion this time joined Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler.
And for the second straight day, Woods went all 18 holes.
The three teed off on the first hole at about 8 a.m. local time and made the turn on the sunplashed links by mid-morning.
Once again, crowds were impressive — unsurprising given that the last and only Open played at Portrush took place 68 years ago — and the weather didn’t disappoint, either, with temperatures climbing into the mid-60s before noon.
As for Woods’ game, little if anything can be gleaned from a practice round, but the 43-year-old’s game and body certainly looked to be just fine during the morning stroll. He seemed to be fresher than on Sunday, when he arrived on an overnight flight from Florida and was on the golf course within two hours of landing, and the mood was naturally light with Fowler and Johnson en tow.
Still, some have wondered whether this has been enough preparation for Woods, who last played a month ago at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and has barely touched a club since after taking vacation following his tie for 21st at Pebble Beach.
“I personally think if you’re serious about winning the Open you’ve got to be playing tournament golf at least before it,” Padraig Harrington said two weeks ago.
Woods apparently isn’t bothered by such opinions, though, as he told reporters Sunday that the break was good for his game and reminded everyone that he wouldn’t be playing as much this year.
To his point, Woods has played just 10 tournament rounds since winning the Masters in April, with his best finish in that span a T-9 at the Memorial.
Monday is also likely one of the last days of good weather Woods is likely to see in the run up to the start of competition on Thursday. The weather forecast on Tuesday calls for a 50 percent chance of rain throughout the course of the day, with that number increasing to 70 percent on Wednesday.