Tiger Woods of the U.S. watches his tee shot on the ninth hole during the third round of the British Open golf Championship at Muirfield in Scotland on Saturday. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)
GULLANE, Scotland — Tiger Woods will rely on his experience of winning major titles when he bids for number 15 in the final round of the British Open today.
The 37-year-old American starts out two shots behind Briton Lee Westwood, his playing partner in the third round who is seeking to end a long wait for a first major.
“I’m pleased where I’m at,” Woods told reporters after shooting a one-over-par 72 for a one-under aggregate of 212.
“I’m only two back. There’s only one guy ahead of me. I’ve got 14 of these things and I know what it takes to win it.”
Woods is not expecting Westwood to fold under the pressure.
“He’s won tournaments all over the world,” he said. “He knows how to win golf tournaments. He’s two shots ahead and we’re going to go out there and both compete and play.”
Woods is level with compatriot Hunter Mahan with U.S. Masters champion Adam Scott a shot further back.
“There’s a bunch of guys who have a chance to win this tournament,” said the world number one who will play with Scott in the final round. “And all of us need to really play well tomorrow to win it.”
Woods has not won a major title for five years and claimed the last of his three British Opens in 2006.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge of it. I’ve been in this position before, in the past five years. I’ve been in that hunt and I’m in it again.”
Woods fell three shots behind Westwood after seven holes but took advantage of two bogeys by the Englishman to cut the gap.
The pair were locked together at two-under for much of the back nine before Westwood birdied the 17th and Woods bogeyed it to prompt a two-shot swing.
“I was just plodding along, just be patient, play my own game,” Woods said. “These are really tough hole locations, it’s really hard to make birdies.”
He was left to rue a couple of missed birdie opportunities but he was happy with his performance.
“I felt like I played well today, I really did,” he said. “I had a couple of opportunities to make a couple of putts, I just didn’t do it.
“Caught a couple of weird bounces out there which is normal. Tomorrow, hopefully, I can play just a little bit better and make a couple of more putts.”