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The Open Championship 2024: Records and Statistics

Xander Schauffele wins The Open Championship 2024 and receives a total of 3.1 million US-Dollars from the record prize pot. However, the record prize money is just one of many impressive and surprising statistics.

Schauffele wins the double and completes major sweep for the US

The newly crowned Champion Golfer of the Year, Xander Schauffele, is the first player since Brooks Koepka (2018) to win two majors in one calendar year. He is also the first golfer since Rory McIlroy (2014) to win the PGA Championship and The Open in one calendar year. The parallel: both triumphed at the PGA Championship in Valhalla. Schauffeles’ victory also continues an impressive run at the Open Championship. Since 2013, there have only been first-time winners of the Claret Jug at the Open Championship. This is the longest streak in the history of the tournament, together with the period from 1994 to 2004. Ernie Els in 2012 was the last “non-debut winner”. The proud golfing nation USA has produced all four reigning major winners for the first time since 1982. Incidentally, the British Open at that time was also played at Royal Troon GC and was won by legendary Tom Watson.

The Open Championship 2024: Historic course statistics

The entire field of participants had a combined score of 1,344 strokes over par over the four rounds. It is also worth noting that the front nine was more difficult to play than the back nine throughout the tournament. Truly historic, as this has never happened before at an Open at Royal Troon. The average score for the week of the tournament was 73.851. The 11th hole, the par 4 called “Railway”, was the most challenging hole of the tournament with an average score of 4.426 strokes. The 16th hole, a par 5, was the easiest to play with a stroke average of 4.830.

Schefflers “What if” and driver comes up too short on a Par 3!

The total of all strokes is the deciding factor for Xander Schauffele: The US-American does not lead any of the Strokes Gained rankings at the end of the tournament, except the one for total scoring. Meanwhile, Scottie Scheffler will be asking himself once again: “What if?” Scheffler finishes tied seventh at the 2024 British Open, despite being ranked 131st in strokes-gained putting for the week. The weather conditions also caused chaos, especially on Saturday. In the group around Shane Lowry and Daniel Brown, neither of them reached the green on the 17th hole (par 3) due to the strong wind – mind you with the driver on a par 3!!! A total of 13 players made the cut at all four majors in 2024. Of those 13 golfers, Xander Schauffele did the best. With a total score of 32 strokes under par, he distanced second-placed Scottie Scheffler by 15 strokes. Third place on the fictitious major podium went to Collin Morikawa (-15). Here is the list of all players:

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The Open Championship 2024: Prize Money Payout Breakdown

The Open Championship 2024 was the fourth and final major of the year for the stars of the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour this week. In Royal Troon, Xander Schauffele won the largest share of the record prize money totalling 15.6 million euros (17 million US dollars). The British Open prize money and its distribution at a glance.

The Open Championship 2024: The Record Prize Money at Royal Troon

This week, golf’s elite gathered at Royal Troon for The Open Championship 2024. At the last major of the year, the participants not only competed for the coveted Claret Jug and the title of ‘Champion Golfer of the Year’, but also for record prize money. Compared to last year, the amount has been increased by around 460,000 euros (500,000 USD), as announced by the R&A. CEO Martin Slumbers justified the decision, despite critical scrutiny, with the key role of The Open: “The R&A has a responsibility to strike a balance between maintaining The Open’s position in the global game, providing the funds required for governance and developing amateur and recreational golf in 146 countries internationally […]. “We remain concerned about the impact substantial increases in men’s professional prize money are having on the perception of the sport and its long-term financial sustainability. We are determined to act with the interests of the global game in mind as we pursue our goal of ensuring golf continues to thrive in 50 years’ time.” Of the 15.6 million euros (17 million USD), the winner will receive an impressive 2.84 million euros (3.1 million USD) in prize money. Incidentally, the prize money at The Open Championship 2024 is not paid out to amateurs; if more than 70 professional golfers make the cut, the prize money is also increased slightly. As usual, Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and defending champion Brian Harman are among the favorites to win the Major. At Royal Troon, all eyes will be on McIlroy in particular after the Northern Irishman failed so dramatically at the 2024 US Open.

Prize Money Payout Breakdown at The Open Championship 2024

Position Name Prize Money
1 Xander Schauffele $3,100,000
T2 Justin Rose $1,443,500
T2 Billy Horschel $1,443,500
4 Thriston Lawrence $876,000
5 Russell Henley $705,000
6 Shane Lowry $611,000
T7 Jon Rahm $451,834
T7 Sungjae Im $451,834
T7 Scottie Scheffler $451,834
T10 Adam Scott $317,534
T10 Matthew Jordan $317,534
T10 Daniel Brown $317,534
T13 Jason Day $248,667
T13 Alex Noren $248,667
T13 Byeong Hun An $248,667
T16 Mackenzie Hughes $202,700
T16 John Catlin $202,700
T16 Collin Morikawa $202,700
T19 Dean Burmester $176,367
T19 Shubhankar Sharma $176,367
T19 Daniel Hillier $176,367
T22 Ewen Ferguson $151,067
T22 Sepp Straka $151,067
T22 Padraig Harrington $151,067
T25 Ryan Fox $124,617
T25 Corey Conners $124,617
T25 Jordan Spieth $124,617
T25 Joe Dean $124,617
T25 Patrick Cantlay $124,617
T25 Laurie Canter $124,617
T31 Guido Migliozzi $90,220
T31 Cameron Young $90,220
T31 Eric Cole $90,220
T31 Brendon Todd $90,220
T31 Matteo Manassero $90,220
T31 Minkyu Kim $90,220
T31 Chris Kirk $90,220
T31 Dustin Johnson $90,220
T31 Justin Thomas $90,220
T31 Sam Burns $90,220
T41 Kurt Kitayama $70,050
T41 Matt Wallace $70,050
T43 Jorge Campillo $57,200
T43 Thorbjorn Olesen $57,200
T43 Brooks Koepka $57,200
T43 Max Homa $57,200
T43 Si Woo Kim $57,200
T43 Emiliano Grillo $57,200
T43 Calum Scott (a) $0
T50 Matt Fitzpatrick $45,238
T50 Matthieu Pavon $45,238
T50 Richard Mansell $45,238
T50 Robert MacIntyre $45,238
T50 Harris English $45,238
T50 Adrian Meronk $45,238
T50 Gary Woodland $45,238
T50 Sean Crocker $45,238
T58 Abraham Ancer $42,150
T58 Joaquín Niemann $42,150
T60 Tommy Morrison (a) $0
T60 Jeunghun Wang $32,100
T60 Rasmus Hojgaard $32,100
T60 Jacob Skov Olesen (a) $0
T60 Phil Mickelson $32,100
T60 Brian Harman $32,100
T66 Hideki Matsuyama $40,280
T66 Tom McKibbin $40,280
T66 Nicolai Hojgaard $40,280
T66 Davis Thompson $40,280
T66 Austin Eckroat $40,280
71 Rickie Fowler $39,400
T72 Young-han Song $38,925
T72 Marcel Siem $38,925
T72 Tom Hoge $38,925
T75 Darren Clarke $38,525
T75 Aaron Rai $38,525
T75 Alex Cejka $38,525
78 Luis Masaveu (a) $0
79 Andy Ogletree $38,275
80 Darren Fichardt $38,150
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The Open Championship 2024 Live Blog: Xander Schauffele Triumphs in Troon

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Scottie Scheffler: “Toughest Nine Holes of My Career”

Scottie Scheffler articulated what many of the remaining The Open Championship participants were likely thinking after Moving Day – except for Justin Rose, of course. “I can think of a couple days with some crazy high winds that may have been more challenging, but overall the back nine, I think that was probably the hardest nine holes that I’ll ever play,” said the world number one, before slightly revising his statement: “I shouldn’t say ever. Who knows what the next few Opens will bring? But it’s definitely the hardest that I’ve played to this point in my career.”

The two-time Masters champion held his own with an even-par round, hitting 13 out of 14 fairways. However, his putter once again let him down, failing to capitalize even from short distances. If he can manage to improve this aspect today, the third major of the year remains within reach.

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Watch: Highlights From Round 3 of The Open Championship

The Open Championship 2024, part of the European Tour, is currently being held at Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scotland. The tournament has reached its third round, with significant developments and competitive plays throughout the day.

Currently leading the field is Billy Horschel from the USA, having achieved a total score of -4. Following closely are six players tied in second place, each with a total score of -3. These players include Thriston Lawrence (RSA), Sam Burns (USA), Russell Henley (USA), Xander Schauffele (USA), Justin Rose (ENG), and Daniel Brown (ENG).

The tournament features a prize pool of $16,500,000, attracting top-tier talent from across the globe.

For fans and enthusiasts, a video compilation of the European Tour Highlights focusing on The Open Highlights from the third round is available, showcasing the most impactful moments and key plays from today’s round. As the final scores are tallied, the golfing world watches closely to see who will emerge victorious in this prestigious event.

British Open: The European Tour Round 3 highlights

About the European Tour

The DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour) is the largest European professional golf tour. With 45 events, the tour’s tournament calendar is packed with highlights. In addition to the majors, the DP World Tour organizes other co-sanctioned events with the PGA Tour. The European tour is also a guest in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, hosting at least one tournament in a total of 25 countries. The prize money on the DP World Tour is lower than on its American sister tour, but with the basic salary introduced in 2023, players who have played at least 15 tournaments will receive at least 150,000 dollars. The season finale of the overall earnings ranking, the “Race to Dubai“, will be held in a play-off format after five “Global Swings” and the “Back 9”. The final DP World Tour Championship will determine the winner of the season in Dubai in November.

Highlights Tours

Shane Lowry’s The Open Championship 2024: Drama on the 11th Hole

Shane Lowry temporarily lost his lead at the The Open Championship 2024 due to rule disputes. The former Open champion faced unexpected challenges and rule decisions on the second day of the tournament.

Lowry’s Lead at The Open Championship 2024

Shane Lowry started strong at the The Open Championship 2024. The 2019 champion led after the second round at the Royal Troon Golf Club, having navigated the first ten holes with three birdies and one bogey, securing a two-stroke lead.

The Controversial Incident on the 11th Hole

The 11th hole, one of the course’s most notorious par-4 holes known as “The Railway,” proved troublesome for Lowry. His second shot veered left into a gorse bush. Distracted by a photographer, Lowry claimed his shot was disrupted. Declaring his ball lost, he took a penalty and played a new ball onto the green. However, a spectator found the original ball, forcing Lowry to continue play with it.

The Ruling and Its Consequences

According to the golf rules, Lowry had to play the found ball. Despite his protests and frustration towards the photographer, the decision stood. Lowry incurred another penalty for an unplayable ball and played his fourth shot onto the green. He finished the hole with a double bogey, losing his sole lead and tying with England’s Daniel Brown. Despite the setback on the 11th hole, Lowry fought back to regain the solo lead by the end of the day.

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The Open Championship 2024: ‘Postage Stamp’ forces pro to give up

It’s not often that you see a golfer withdraw from a tournament on TV or as a spectator on the course. But after this unsuccessful shot on hole 8, the ‘Postage Stamp’, Frenchman Romain Langasque turns to a referee, holds his back and probably withdraws before the end of the hole. The third-placed player at last week’s Scottish Open therefore ends his Open Championship 2024 after just seven holes played.

‘Postage Stamp’ sends Langasque out of The Open Championship 2024

According to one Twitter user, the tee shot on the 108 metre short par 3 was already around 25 metres too short. The following shot out of the thick rough was also not successful and flew over the green. The video suggests that this was due to a back injury suffered by the Frenchman. The consequence: he withdrew from The Open 2024.

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Tiger Woods’ Iconic Flex: A Tale from The Open Championship 2024

During the The Open Championship 2024, the golf world is reminded of an amusing story from Woods’ illustrious career.

A Memorable Encounter at The Open Championship

During The Open Championship in the 2000s, when Tiger Woods was dominating the golf world, an interesting incident occurred. PGA Tour pro Michael Kim shared the anecdote on social media platform X about how Woods handled a forgotten credential. At the Major in the early 2000s, Woods forgot his access card and encountered a vigilant security guard at the lounge entrance.

A Legendary “Flex” to Remember

Responding with his characteristic composure and resourcefulness, ‘El Tigre’ noticed a prominent poster bearing his image nearby. He cleverly pointed to it and calmly stated to the guard, “That’s my credentials.” The guard had nothing more to say, and Woods continued on his way into the lounge.

Woods’ Return to The Open Championship 2024

Leading up to the The Open Championship 2024, there has been much speculation about Woods’ participation. Despite his advanced age and past injuries, he is determined to compete for the title at Royal Troon Golf Club once more. In a recent interview, he emphasized his readiness and unwavering will to measure himself against the world’s best once again.

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The Open Championship 2024 – Rory McIlroy: “I Blanked Tiger Woods”

Before the start of The Open Championship 2024 Rory McIlroy spoke to the media about Tiger Woods, adapting to links golf and – obviously – the US Open.

The Open Championship 2024: Rory McIlroy talks to the media

Q. Rory, how are preparations going this week, and how much are you looking forward to the challenge ahead?

RORY MCILROY: I feel like preparations have been going well. I feel like preparations probably started last week at the Renaissance.

Just getting myself familiar again with links conditions, links turf, green speeds. Obviously we play a majority of our golf in the States and green surfaces that are quite different to here. So just trying to get, I guess, reacclimated to that. Not that — obviously grew up playing a lot of links golf, but when you only come back to play once or twice a year, it just takes you a little time to adapt.

Yeah, it’s been going well. Got my first look at the golf course this morning early. It’s basically a tale of two nines on this course. You feel like you have to make your score on the way out and then sort of hang on coming in.

Looking forward to the week. The course is in great shape. Obviously we’ve got an amazing field, as these major championships produce now. It’s the only time four times a year that we get everyone back together. So looking forward to the week.

Q. We had Tiger in a little while ago, and he was mentioning after the dust settled for you after the U.S. Open, he shot you a text. Just kind of wondered what that meant to you to hear that from him.

RORY MCILROY: Full disclosure, I changed my number two days after the U.S. Open, so I didn’t get it until he told me about it today. I was like, oh, thanks very much. So I blanked Tiger Woods, which is probably not a good thing.

Tiger has been nothing but incredible to me over the course of my career in the good moments and the bad. He sent me an incredible message after St Andrews in 2022.

I met Tiger when I was 15 years old, and I’ve built up a great relationship with him, his whole family. He really enjoys spending time with my mom and dad as well.

So, yeah, it means a lot. It means a lot that he reached out. Actually it means a lot that he waited a few days to reach out, which if he hadn’t have waited that long, I probably would have got it.

But I caught up with him earlier. It’s always nice when your hero and the guy that you had on your bedroom wall is reaching out and offering words of encouragement.

Q. On a quick follow, obviously you had last week under your belt to play, but where is your head space at a month or so removed from Pinehurst to where you sit now?

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, it’s good. Game’s in really good shape. Had a nice reset after Pinehurst that was needed and felt like I shook off a little bit of the rust last week and played okay. Felt like I probably could have given myself more of a chance to win the tournament.

I thought it was a solid week. Again, it’s like one eye on preparing for this week, but another eye on trying to get into contention as well.

Overall I’ve been in the UK now for a couple of weeks, and it’s felt nice to get back over here and get back into the swing of things.

Q. Do you have to change your phone number a lot? Is that something you do a lot?

RORY MCILROY: I actually haven’t done it in a while. So I thought it was time, yeah.

Q. That was a totally separate thought. Tiger also was saying that you said you felt uncomfortable on 16 and 18. He said you feel that basically every time you’re trying to win a tournament. Were you surprised at that feeling, and how will you deal with it, I guess differently, moving forward than you did a couple weeks ago?

RORY MCILROY: No, not surprised. I think the last few holes of a major championship with a great chance to win, if you’re not feeling it, then it probably doesn’t mean as much to you as it should.

No, it wasn’t a surprise. It was just more a disappointment that I didn’t handle those uneasy feelings as good as I could have. I alluded to this. I was probably more aware than I should have been of what was happening behind me and sort of got out of my own little head space a little too much. That was a big part of the reason why I didn’t close it out coming down the stretch.

“I don’t like to tinker too much with the putter”

Q. You mentioned a couple things in your introductory comments. Slow greens, is there anything you do mechanically that you change or with your club? Then also, the forecast is for the wind actually to be the complete opposite the first couple days, from the south. Do you have memories of how this golf course, have you played it that way, or have you thought about that yet about Royal Troon?

RORY MCILROY: Definitely was cognizant of that today in the practice round. It was very, very calm starting off, but I would say, once we reached probably like the 7th hole, it started to blow like north-northwest, like straight down on the front side, and then it was really straight back in coming in. Maybe a little tiny bit off the left, if anything.

The forecast looks like it’s going to be basically straight off the right going out and straight off the left coming in, so quite a few more crosswinds, which presents its own challenges in a way.

Yeah, I think we’re all — you know, you would like to play the golf course in the conditions you’re going to play in the tournament, but sometimes Mother Nature just doesn’t let that happen. But it won’t be too dissimilar to what it was in 2016, sort of down off the right usually on the way out and off the left coming in. Maybe just a few more crosswinds than there usually is.

Then the slower greens, I don’t like to tinker too much with the putter. Fax was out there walking with me this morning, and so was Luke Donald. I asked Luke — I really try to focus on the strike more than anything else here and put a good roll on it because any putt here that’s misstruck just doesn’t get to the hole.

So I sort of picked Luke’s brain a little bit, and he always said he liked to focus on the tempo of his stroke and really, if anything, make it a little shorter and a little brisker on greens like this. So that’s something that — you know, the strike and maybe just think a little bit more about the tempo of the stroke, two good things this week.

Q. Rory, you mentioned earlier that you grew up playing links golf. Was it harder to adjust to the style that’s played more around the world, or is it harder to go back the other way?

RORY MCILROY: For me personally, it’s probably a little harder to go back the other way because my natural game is to hit it in the air and to play more of a game that’s suited to big American sort of parkland golf courses.

But I’ve gotten much better over the years to adapting and hitting the shots that are required on links courses in blustery conditions, and I’ve sort of prided myself on that. My record in the Open Championship over the last few years has been very, very good.

Yeah, it still takes a little while when you play 11 months of your golf every year in very different conditions. That’s why I thought it was so important for me to get back and play the Scottish Open last week, just to refamiliarize myself with the turf, the types of shots needed around the greens, and even the wind. You feel like in warmer conditions in America, like a wind that’s a similar strength doesn’t affect the ball as much as it just feels like a real heavy wind here, especially when you play at seaside links.

So just getting refamiliarized with all that I think is important.

Q.They say there are five stages of grief, and going back to Pinehurst, when did you think — you added another one, the sixth stage, which is changing your phone number.

RORY MCILROY: It wasn’t out of grief, but okay. (Laughter).

Q. When do you think that you finally came to the acceptance stage, and how was that process?

RORY MCILROY: I would say maybe like three or four days after, went from being very disappointed and dejected to trying to focus on the positives to then wanting to learn from the negatives and then getting to the point where you become enthusiastic and motivated to go again.

So it probably took three, four, five days. It’s funny how your mindset can go from I don’t want to see a golf course for a month to like four days later being can’t wait to get another shot at it. When that disappointment turns to motivation, that’s when it’s time to go again. But, yeah, three, four days.

Q. You mentioned earlier that you met Tiger for the first time when you were 15. Do you ever sort of sit home and think like how surreal it is that that 15-year-old lad has now become fairly close mates with Tiger Woods? And like it was said earlier, like a global superstar?

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I get reminded of it or I remind myself of it every day. I always say this, and it sounds cliche, but I don’t take it for granted that I can wake up every day and try to live out my childhood dream. And one of my childhood dreams was to meet Tiger Woods, but not only that, to compete against him and to befriend him and become close to him.

Yeah, not in my wildest dreams did I think that I’d end up in the position that I’m in, but I’m very grateful for it. I still have to remind myself a lot that this is my life.

Q. They said at the Scottish that you went to Manhattan for a few days, and you were talking about walking the high line a little bit with your AirPods in. What’s a day of meditative thinking like, and what does it do for you?

RORY MCILROY: It’s liberating in some way. The thing is just to get out, to not be on a screen, to look around, to — I think trying to find the joy from the small things in life I think is really important.

Going there especially is a good reset, just in terms of seeing everyone living their lives and the hustle and the bustle. Honestly, no one gave a shit if I missed the putt at Pinehurst. It’s a nice perspective to keep.

Yeah, just to go and get lost in a big city like that and just be one of the herd sort of going about your day, it’s — for me anyway, it’s a nice feeling.

Q. You’ve hit this shot off the tee a few times this season, this ultra low drive, like apex is at 30 feet, 35 feet. Just wonder if that’s a skill you’ve always had, if you’ve had to develop it over the years, how you practice it. Where does that shot come from?

RORY MCILROY: It’s definitely something I’ve developed over the years, and honestly it’s only a shot I’ve been able to hit since I’ve become a little stronger.

Really it’s about trying to keep my right side high on the way into the golf ball. I’ve talked about my sort of low tee and high tee. I tee it down low, which helps me keep on top of it and keep that right side high. If I tee it up a little higher, I can get some right side bend going.

When you time it well, it can be awesome. When you don’t time it so well, it can create some issues. It’s a really nice go-to shot for me if I don’t feel 100 percent comfortable on a tee shot or if a tee shot doesn’t fit my eye, to be able to tee it low and hit that shot.

12 at Pinehurst was an example. It’s a wide fairway, but I got up there, and I just didn’t see anything. So to just get the ball on the deck and get it running, especially on fairways like that, conditions like this, it’s something that — it’s a shot that I’ve went to more and more over the last couple of years since I’ve been able to practice it and develop it. It’s been a nice go-to when I’m struggling to see a certain shot. Just tee it low and sort of squeeze one out there, and it still gets out there quite a long way, which is nice.

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Tiger Woods on the Ryder Cup “I Wouldn’t Be Doing the Captaincy Justice”

Tiger Woods is in high demand. Not only from fans and journalists, who will be following his every move at The Open Championship 2024, but also in official capacities. So much in demand, in fact, that he has now had to issue a clear cancellation on one point: the Ryder Cup.

Tiger Woods: ‘You only have so many hours in the day’

The decision was very difficult for me to make,’ said Woods at his press conference during The Open Championship. The PGA of America had been waiting a long time to see whether the 15-time major winner would lead the American team in New York after all. But the 48-year-old simply doesn’t have the time.

‘My time has been so loaded with the Tour and everything and what we’re trying to accomplish,’ he explained. ‘I’m on so many different subcommittees that it just takes so much time in the day, and I’m always on calls.’

‘I just didn’t feel like I could do the job properly. I couldn’t devote the time. I barely had enough time to do what I’m doing right now, and add in the TGL starts next year, as well as the Ryder Cup. You add all that together and then with our negotiations with the PIF, all that concurrently going on at exactly the same time, there’s only so many hours in the day.’

‘I just didn’t feel like I would be doing the captaincy or the players in Team USA justice if I was the captain with everything that I have to do.’

‘That way I can give back to the game in a different way’

A large part of his time is taken up by work for the tour and negotiations with the PIF. Woods never imagined that he would be so involved in the administrative side of things. ‘It’s enjoyable in the sense that I’m able to help the Tour and I’m able to help the next generation of players. Now the players that are coming up now, they have equity in the Tour, and that’s never been done in any major sport in history. It’s a way of me giving back to the game in a different way other than just playing.’ Even if he sometimes wishes he was out on the golf course rather than sitting in a three-hour sub-committee meeting.

The effort seems to be paying off, because he is also happy with the direction in which the negotiations are developing, says Woods. ‘I can tell you that we are making progress,’ he continues, even if he cannot go into details. ‘It’s evolving each and every day. There’s e-mails and chains and texts and ideas that we bounce back and forth from both sides. There’s a good interchange of ideas and thoughts of how the game could look like going forward. It’s just a matter of putting that all together legally. Obviously we have the DOJ with oversight looking into that as well and making sure that we don’t do anything improperly there, as well, but also making sure that all the players benefit from this as well as everyone who’s involved. They want to make money as well. They want to make that return.’

‘We’re now into not just charitable endeavors, we’re into a for-profit model. So we have to make returns.’

‘I will play as long as I feel I can still win the tournament’

And in addition to PIF, PGA and TGL, there is of course Tiger’s own golf game. Because Woods is not yet ready to end the practical part of his career. Only recently, Colin Montgomery called on him to hang up his golf clubs. ‘He didn’t seem to enjoy a single shot at Pinehurst and you think, ‘What the hell is he doing there?’ He’s coming to Troon and he won’t enjoy it there either,’ predicted the 31-time DP World Tour winner, who has a very special connection to Troon, in an interview with the Times of London. ‘There’s a time for all sportsmen to say goodbye, but it’s very difficult to tell Tiger it’s time to go,’ he said. ‘Obviously he still believes he can win. We are more realistic.’

Woods confirms the assumption: ‘I’ll play as long as I can play and I feel I can still win the tournament,’ but also has a very specific answer to Montgomery: ’Well, as a former champion, I’m exempt until I’m 60. Colin is not. He’s not a former champion, so he’s not exempt. So he doesn’t have the ability to make that decision. I do.’ Woods will end his career on his own terms and won’t let Colin Montgomery, a broken back or a car accident dictate the end.