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Faldo gives 'rusty' Woods no hope at Hoylake

ESPN staff
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Tiger Woods missed the cut at the Quicken Loans National last month © Getty Images
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Nick Faldo has poured cold water on Tiger Woods' hopes of winning a fourth Open Championship this week.

Former World No 1 Woods returned to action just three weeks ago at Congressional after four months out following back surgery.

McGinley: McIlroy and McDowell still friends

  • Paul McGinley claims Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell can set aside any differences and star in September's Ryder Cup at Gleneagles for Europe together. The captain rejected reports of a growing rift after rumours surfaced of a disagreement over the players' management company.

    McIlroy is in the middle of a court case with former representative Horizon, which still acts for fellow Northern Irishman McDowell.

    "I spoke to Rory when they had their clear-the-air meeting in Shanghai last year," McGinley told the Times. "Rory came up afterwards and said, after a good chat with G-Mac, 'All is good and there's nothing to worry about'. I said, 'Rory, that's good enough for me.' I have not spoken about it since and, as far as I'm concerned, it won't be an issue.

    "Part of my job is to be on top of the gossip and I'm not hearing anything untoward that I need to be worried about. Should they make the team, there is a strong likelihood that they will be partners."

Faldo, the six-time Major winner, claims even he has played more competitive rounds of golf than Woods since the American's return from injury.

"Tiger has played two rounds and thinks he's ready," Faldo said. "I've played four, and I'm a part-time golfer now. But Tiger left Congressional last month saying he knew what to work on, so we'll see.

"He looked rusty - you've got to be rusty after that sort of break. You've got to get out there and play. He sounds confused when he says he needs to get back into his usual rhythm and then doesn't play.

"And he's going to find Hoylake is different to the course he won over in 2006. It's got to play longer this time, because that was burnt. He hit mostly two irons off the tee and was going in with four irons but it worked because that was Tiger at his optimum."

Faldo is not the only big name to question Woods' chances of victory at Hoylake. Double US Open champion Curtis Strange claimed: "If [Woods] goes to Hoylake saying, 'I'm here to win and that's the only thing', that would be him telling a lie to himself."

Former US PGA winner Paul Azinger added: "He has made astronomical changes in a bid to get better. Sometimes that can create injury."

Despite such doom-laden predictions, Woods at least has one admirer in Europe's Ryder Cup team: captain Paul McGinley. He said he hoped Woods would be part of the American team attempting to win back the title at Gleneagles in September.

"[America] are a better team with Tiger," McGinley said. "At this moment he's way off form, so we don't know which Tiger we are dealing with, but I want him in the team because the Ryder Cup deserves Tiger Woods. He's the biggest draw in the game and biggest influence on viewing figures."

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