GULLANE, Scotland (Reuters) - Going back to St Andrews for next week’s British Open could spark a return to form by Tiger Woods, according to fellow American Phil Mickelson.
Woods has struggled with his game for months but a trip to the ‘Home of Golf’, where he has already won two Opens in 2000 and 2005, may provide the perfect tonic for the former world number one.
“The fact Tiger has won twice at St Andrews and he’s able to perform at that level, and knows what it should feel like, can only be a benefit,” Mickelson told reporters after shooting a two-under-par 68 in the Scottish Open second round on Friday.
”That will make it much easier for him to find that level of play because he’s done it before. I would never rule him out especially with his strength and also the fact he’s healthy.
“When Tiger is healthy he’s always a force,” added Mickelson who trails leader Daniel Brooks of Britain by eight strokes at Gullane.
The American left-hander has every confidence that Woods, who has won three British Opens out of a total of 14 major victories, will one day return to the form he showed in his pomp.
“I don’t know when Tiger will get back to the level he expects, and I don’t know how long that will take, but I just know he will get eventually get there,” said five-times major winner Mickelson.
“He won five tournaments in a year two years ago so I just don’t think he’s that far removed from that. The biggest thing is he is healthy and able to work on his game.”
Woods has gone seven years without a major victory, since the 2008 U.S. Open.
Editing by Tony Jimenez