Tiger Woods waves on Swilcan Bridge, get misty on St. Andrews’ 18th hole (Video)

An undertone all week at The Open Championship is that it could be Tiger Woods’ final time at St. Andrews. That made his walk down 18 an emotional one.

Tiger Woods didn’t have it at the 150th Open Championship. Indeed his health that he’s battled even to tee it up this week and at two other majors in the 2022 calendar year didn’t help, but more than anything, the rust was too much to overcome at his favorite course on planet Earth, the Old Course at St. Andrews.

As such, Woods stepped onto the 18th tee with no chance of making the cut, knowing he wasn’t going to see the weekend. And what ensued was an intensely emotional scene.

With his playing partners — Max Homa and Matt Fitzpatrick — stopping for him so he could take a walk and embrace the moment he alone deserved, as Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer did (though in a different manner) before him, when Tiger crossed the famed stone Swilcan Bridge at the Old Course, he looked to the crowds clamoring for him, tipped his cap and waved.

Tiger Woods waves on Swilcan Bridge and seems to cry on 18 at St. Andrews

After he stepped off the bridge, though, and continued to walk up the 18th fairway, things got intensely emotional for fans, for even the commentary, and especially for Tiger Woods. As hundreds of fans cheered incessantly for him, Woods couldn’t look up and reached for his eyes as he waved back, seemingly getting overcome with emotion and misty in the moment.

Where Woods differed from Nicklaus and Palmer is that he did not stop on the Swilcan Bridge for his wave, a symbolic gesture that this would be the last time he’d ever play The Open at the Old Course. His wave was one while still moving, one that, in the mind of an optimist, would leave the door open to one last ride at St. Andrews.

Even then, that doesn’t diminish the emotion of the moment. In fact, it may even make it carry more weight.

After the round, he talked about not knowing if his body would allow him to play another British Open at the Old Course. He knows that there is a potential finality to this moment, which undoubtedly elicited the reaction he had. This could’ve very well been his goodbye to The Open at St. Andrews.

Homa and Fitzpatrick wanted him to have that moment. Rory McIlroy, fittingly teeing off on No. 1 as Tiger Woods completed his round, tipped his cap as they passed one another on the parallel fairways.

It’s possible this was goodbye. It looked like goodbye. Tiger wouldn’t let it be that final, but with misty eyes he was forced to wipe away as he made the walk, you have to think that part of him knows it was goodbye.

Should that be the case, the lasting image won’t be his scorecard, one that doesn’t include rounds for Saturday and Sunday. It’ll be this, the respect from the best in the game on the PGA Tour he built for them and from the fans who adore him being showered upon him — and the greatest to ever play allowing himself to be mortal, to feel the weight, and to take it all in.

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