Spieth: Tiger still a major force

Jordan Spieth reckons Tiger Woods is still a hot favourite for the Open Championship, despite his missed cut at Congressional.

Woods carded rounds of 74 and 75 at the Quicken Loans National last week, comfortably missing the cut, but Spieth, who played with Woods in those first two rounds, believes he saw enough to suggest that the 14-time major champion will be a serious threat again very soon.

“He’ll take a lot from those 36 holes and I think he will be a severe threat at the British [Open] – probably as favourite,” Spieth said.

“He looks good, he’s not over-swinging it and he’s in rhythm.

“He wasn’t aggressive enough putting, but we were all leaving it short. His greens at his house are faster, apparently. Other than that, he’s not that far from being right where he was.”

Sir Nick Faldo, meanwhile, says Woods must tee it up at the Scottish Open the preceding week to have any chance at the Open, which will take place at Royal Liverpool in two weeks’ time.

“The best way to knock off the rust is to come out and play competitive golf. He says he feels great so why doesn’t he add a tournament before The Open?

“The Scottish would be ideal, on the Royal Aberdeen links and everything.”

For his own part, Woods said he was “very encouraged” by his two rounds at Congressional.

“A lot of positives to take away from these last two days,” he said.

“Even though I missed the cut by four shots; the fact that I was able to even play (was encouraging). I came back four weeks earlier than we thought I could. I had no setbacks. I got my feel for playing tournament golf.

“I made a ton of little, simple little mistakes, misjudging things and missing the ball on the wrong sides and just didn’t get up-and-down on little simple shots. Those are the little things I can correct, which is nice.”