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Woods: Lancashire people 'have been fantastic'

Tiger Woods speaks to the press at Royal Lytham Club Photo: PA Images

Tiger Woods has paid tribute to the 'fantastic' people of Lancashire and the Fylde coast.

Speaking to the press at the Royal Lytham & St Annes club ahead of the 2012 Open, Woods said: "This is my third time here, and the people have been fantastic.

I was so excited to come here as an amateur and play and just had just a great time and 2001 was the same, and I feel this week will be the same thing.

They're definitely excited about their sport here, and they definitely come out.

I know this is probably I think the smallest piece of property we have in The Open rotation.

Not as many people, but it feels they're a little bit closer to you. Definitely not like St. Andrews, where they're hundreds of yards away, it's a very intimate atmosphere, and I think that's fantastic for us as players."

Woods insists he is neither anxious nor impatient about ending his long wait for another major and could go back to world number one with victory in The Open. TIger has not added to his 14 major wins since the 2008 US Open.

"No - I just try and put myself there (in contention)," the three-time Claret Jug holder said today.

"I think that if I continue putting myself there enough times then I'll win major championships.

"First of all, I had to go through that whole process of just getting healthy again.

"Being banged up and missing major championships because of it in a couple of years stretch wasn't a whole lot of fun.

"I think I missed four majors there just because I was injured. I figure if I'm healthy, then I can prepare properly for major championships and I can get myself there."

Woods is back this week at the course where he finished 22nd in 1996, shooting three under par to equal the record for the lowest total ever by an amateur in the championship.

"I remember I got hot in that second round. I think I made seven birdies in an 11 or 12-hole stretch (he shot 66).

"I tied Ian Pyman's record for low am and I thought that was a pretty great accomplishment.

"That Open Championship basically pushed me towards turning pro versus going back to college.

"I was still kind of iffy about whether I should turn pro or not. But that gave me so much confidence that I could do it at a high level, that I could shoot those scores and I could play against the top players in the world on a very difficult track."

He made his professional debut two months later.

Woods has already talked about some of the rough being "almost unplayable in places" - and he has also experienced it now in different winds.

"It changes the whole golf course. On seven (the only par five on the front nine) I hit driver, seven-iron one day and the next day I hit driver, three-wood and a wedge.

"It will be interesting to see how it turns out for the rest of the week."

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