• Open Championship

Tiger's practice plans delayed by officials

ESPN staff
July 15, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Tiger Woods got some planning in on Monday © Getty Images
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Not for the first time at Muirfield, Tiger Woods' Open Championship preparations were delayed by officials at the golf course.

Woods, who has developed a habit of extremely early practice rounds at major championships, was attempting to begin his Monday round at 6.40am - before being informed by marshalls that there was to be no play on the course before 7am.

The incident had echoes of a run-in with stewards the last time the Open was at Muirfield, in 2002, when Woods was not immediately recognised by security and was initially denied entrance to the course.

On Monday Woods took the request of the marshalls gracefully, returning to the putting green for some extra practice before teeing off the first alongside Rory McIlroy shortly after 7am.

"The practice tee opens at 7am and that was communicated to the players," a tournament spokesman said.

"This is to help spectators see as much play as possible and to give the greenkeepers sufficient time to prepare the course to the highest standard each morning."

Americans Brandt Snedeker and Billy Horschel also both fell foul of stewards - with the Guardian reporting that the duo were responsible for informing staff about Woods' plan to begin his round on the 10th.

Woods, who was accompanied throughout his round by girlfriend Lindsey Vonn and coach Sean Foley, subsequently had chats with Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Royal & Ancient's executive director, and Peter Dawson, the R&A's chief executive, to ensure there were no grievances.

Back in 2002, Woods - who did not have his credentials on him - was initially denied entry to Muirfield by a staff member who did not recognise him.

"She was following the rules and she was doing her job," Woods said at the time. "I didn't have my credential and I left it in the car.

"I guess I convinced her by saying I won the tournament two years ago."

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