Tiger Woods was desperate not to miss the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, revealing playing at the home of golf was his focus once he knew he could compete at a high level.
Woods' future in the sport was in doubt following a car accident in February last year that left him with compound fractures in his right leg and a shattered ankle.
He said in November that his full-time career as a pro was over, however, he committed to playing a few events a year and made the weekend at The Masters in April.
Woods then played at the US PGA Championship, only to withdraw after three rounds due to a pain in his right leg, and did not compete at the U.S. Open last week.
Yet the 46-year-old was determined to tee off at St Andrews, where he won the first two of his three Claret Jugs and will tee off in a group also featuring U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick and Max Homa.
He told a media conference on Tuesday: "For the most part of my rehab I was just I was hoping that I could walk again, you know, walk normal and have a normal life and maybe play a little hit-and-giggle golf with my son or my friends at home.
"But lo and behold, I've played championship golf this year. And once I realised that I could possibly play at a high level, my focus was to get back here at St Andrews to play in this championship being, as I said, it's the most historic one we've ever had. I just didn't want to miss this Open here at the home of golf.
"This has meant so much to me. This is where I completed the career Grand Slam. At the time I had the record in scoring in all four major championships. So it meant a lot to me. This venue has meant a lot.
"I remember coming around here, my very first practice round, I couldn't believe how stupidly hard this place is because I played every hole into the wind. I happened to have the tide change, and I played every hole into the wind. Where do you drive some of these par-fours? This is not what people say it is. All of a sudden it changes, and I see, no, these bunkers are now in play.
"It's amazing the ingenuity that they had then that this golf course has stood the test of time to the best players."
155 TOUR wins— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 11, 2022
6 Claret Jugs
Iconic duo. pic.twitter.com/204KrHdgD0
Asked earlier if the build-up feels different as The Open celebrates 150 years, Woods replied: "It really does. It feels more historic than it normally has. And it's hard to believe that because we are coming back to the home of golf. It is history every time we get a chance to play here.
"But there's so much that's going on this week that to be able to play yesterday with Lee Buck and to hear him chatting the entire time over every shot as he's hitting the shot, and just to be able to have that type of experience. And tonight we're going to have our Champions' Dinner, because we only do it here.
"It's hard to believe, it's been 150 years we've played this tournament, and it's incredible, the history behind it, the champions that have won here. As I said, it's hard to believe it's more historic, but it really is. It does feel like that. This does feel like it's the biggest Open Championship we've ever had."