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We look at how Tiger Woods has fared in his previous Open Championship appearances at Royal Troon.

There have been some incredible Open Championship renewals at Royal Troon with some legendary winners – but Tiger Woods is not one of those having missed out in both of his previous visits.

The battle for the Claret Jug has been staged three times at the Ayrshire course since Woods has been on the scene, but he’s played in just two of them.

The 15-time Major champion has lifted the Claret Jug himself three times, and did produce some decent golf during his two visits to Troon, but never managed to string four rounds together.

1997 – WINNER: JUSTIN LEONARD

Tiger’s Position: T24 (72, 74, 64, 74)

Not a vintage Open performance from Woods but he did throw in a scintillating third round of 64 on Saturday to fire himself into contention heading into Sunday.

It was much needed after a poor start that resulted in him finishing his second round way down in four over while Darren Clarke led on nine under.

It was not like Woods at all on Friday, as he shot a three-over 74 while the rest of the field were sticking low scores in all over the place, with four of the top five shooting 66.

Woods started Sunday in T8 but a long way back of leader Jesper Parnevik (eight shots) and while the Swede did falter down the stretch, it was a different American who came with a late run to capture the Claret Jug.

Justin Leonard shot a sparkling 65 to claim a three-shot victory, while Woods went in the other direction as he could only manage a closing 74.

2004 – WINNER: TODD HAMILTON

Tiger Woods 

Tiger’s Position: T9 (70, 71, 68, 72)

It was a similar story for Woods when he returned to Troon in 2004 with again the Saturday third round being his highlight when he carded a 68 to move up into T7.

That followed on from rather ordinary opening rounds of 70 and 71 to leave him on one under at halfway and six shots off leader Skip Kendall heading into the weekend.

Woods then went into the final round four shots off the lead, but once more he found it hard to make a dent on Sunday as he returned a one-over round of 72.

Instead, it was left to Todd Hamilton to win a thrilling playoff against Ernie Els to spring a big shock victory.

Tiger Woods recently stirred major buzz in the golf world by turning down the opportunity to captain the USA’s Ryder Cup team in 2025. The golf legend spoke about his decision following the announcement that Keegan Bradley would be the captain of the U.S. team.

“With my new responsibilities to the Tour and time commitments involved, I felt like I would not be able to commit the time to Team USA and the players required as a captain,” Woods said. “That does not mean I wouldn’t want to captain a team in the future. If and when I feel it is the right time, I will put my hat in the ring for this committee to decide.”

Keegan Bradley was just announced as the 2025 US Ryder Cup team captain and that news shocked the entire golf world. The consensus was that Tiger Woods would be the selection with the event coming back to New York, but as new reports surfaced it turns out that Tiger turned the offer down.

You might be wondering why he would ever do that. The Ryder Cup in New York at Bethpage Black is about as iconic as it can get, so why wouldn’t Tiger want that as part of his legacy?

Thankfully we don’t need to speculate as Tiger Woods has already commented on why he turned down the Ryder Cup captaincy.

Tiger Woods shares why he turned down the 2025 US Ryder Cup Captaincy

“With my new responsibilities to the Tour and time commitments involved, I felt like I would not be able to commit the time to Team USA and the players required as a captain. That does not mean I wouldn’t want to captain a team in the future. If and when I feel it is the right time, I will put my hat in the ring for this committee to decide.”

Tigers’ response above is as straightforward as it can possibly get. Essentially, Tiger feels he’s too busy right now to devote the amount of time he feels is necessary to be the Ryder Cup team captain. And if that’s his true reason then I commend him for turning the offer down.

While I do believe everything Tiger said above, I think there’s a lot more behind his decision to turn the offer down than what he shared.

More reasons why Tiger Woods turned down Ryder Cup captaincy

Tiger wants to be a player captain

One other reason why I think Tiger turned down the captaincy is because he wants to be a player captain. This is what Tiger did for the 2019 Presidents Cup when Tiger arguably was the best player on the team that year. So I imagine he wants to also be a player when he captains the US Ryder Cup team.

But there’s one problem, Tiger knows his game isn’t good enough right now. So I believe he wants to wait until he believes his game is good enough so he can be a player and captain simultaneously.

Be the leader when the US FINALLY wins in Europe again

Are you ready for one of the wildest stats you’ll ever hear? The US hasn’t won the Ryder Cup in Europe since 1993. That means Tiger has never defeated a European team in Europe in his career.

This stat is always a major talking point when the Ryder Cup is in Europe, and it surely will be again when the 2027 Ryder Cup rolls around. So I think Tiger wants to wait for 2027 so he can lead the US to victory in Europe for the first time in what feels like forever, which in turn would become one of the greatest accomplishments of his career.

Tiger is close friends with owner of 2027 Ryder Cup course

And the final reason I think Tiger will wait until 2027 to be the US Ryder Cup captain is because of the golf course hosting the event. The 2027 Ryder Cup is at Adare Manor Golf Course in Ireland, a course Tiger is extremely familiar with.

His close friend J.P. McManus owns the course and it’s a course Tiger plays quite often. Most years Tiger plays in the member-member with McManus at this course, so it’s safe to say Tiger is extremely knowledgeable on the layout of the course.

So while all the reasons Tiger shared publically about being too busy to be captain this year is likely accurate, adding in these other details may paint the entire picture.

So I’m putting it out there now, I think Tiger will be the US Ryder Cup captain in 2027 so he can add to his legacy even more by defeating Europe on foreign soil for the first time since 1993 at a golf course he’s very familiar with.

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