For all of his brilliance, Tiger Woods has never done sentimentality particularly well.
Maybe it doesn’t come naturally to him, the way Jack Nicklaus has talked about playing through tears at poignant moments and the way Arnold Palmer buried his face in a sweaty towel when his U.S. Open career ended on a steamy Friday at Oakmont 28 years ago.
Maybe that’s why when Woods walked across the Swilcan Bridge mid-afternoon Friday with the Scottish sunshine on his shoulders as he played his final hole in this Open Championship, he paused and waved his cap but he didn’t linger.
He isn’t ready to say goodbye.
This moment felt more like thanks for the memories.
The reality is that Woods is unlikely ever to play another Open Championship at the Old Course, his self-proclaimed favorite layout in the world. He believes there are more Opens in his future, but it’s likely to be eight years before the championship returns here and Woods, who will be 54 then, doesn’t know whether his mangled right leg will allow him to play competitively that far down the line.
It was hard enough this time.
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