Tiger Woods
Woods has traveled to Hoylake early to practice ahead of The Open.

Tiger Woods will draw on the experience of winning while hampered by injury when going in pursuit of victory in The Open Championship at Hoylake this week.

Woods makes just his second tournament appearance since undergoing back surgery at Royal Liverpool seeking to claim a first major title since 2008 when he won the US Open with a serious knee injury.

The 38 year old admits he begins The Open with further injury concerns over his back but says having prevailed in pain previously, he remains confident of claiming a 15<sup>th career major.

"It's getting better," said Woods. "There's no pain. I came back and hit it as hard as I want to hit it. I'm getting stronger and faster. That's only going to continue.

"I'm not quite at the level I think I can be at in terms of explosion through the golf ball but I'm pretty darn close.'

"I've been in circumstances like this before," he added. "I had surgery after the Masters and I didn't play until the US Open. I won it. I didn't break 50 for nine holes before but I won the US Open with a broken leg and torn ACL."

Before returning for the Quicken Loans National at Congressional at the end of June, Woods had spent three months sidelined and missed The Masters for the first time since 1994 after undergoing surgery for a pinched nerve.

Though Woods has suffered significant breaks from golf previously, he admits his recent back problem was the worst of his career.

"There was point in time when my knee was bad and it was tough," he added. "But with this injury I didn't want to do anything.

"I couldn't get out of bed, move around house or anything. It made me appreciate how I was able to play for so long such a high level. With no ACL I could still play. Not with this injury. I couldn't enjoy my life.'

"If I was still feeling like that then I couldn't play again. People who have had my surgery say the same thing: it changes your whole life. I don't have pain all the way down my leg now. But I knew I could come back. It was just a matter of time before I could play at the elite level."