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Tiger Woods, caddie Steve Williams and coach Hank Haney saw Royal Liverpool at sun-up on Monday. (Photo: AP)
Tiger Woods, caddie Steve Williams and coach Hank Haney saw Royal Liverpool at sun-up on Monday. (Photo: AP)

Woods takes a quick look at the course, then disappears

Tiger Woods began his 400th week at No. 1 in the world in his usual fashion on Monday, with an early-morning practice session at Royal Liverpool. He and swing coach Hank Haney were out on the course at 6:30 a.m. and finished at 9:45.

HOYLAKE, England (PA) -- Tiger Woods began his 400th week at No. 1 in the world in his usual fashion on Monday, with an early-morning practice session ahead of the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

Woods was out on the course at 6:30 a.m. along with coach Hank Haney and finished at 9:45, before heading to the practice putting green in front of the clubhouse.

The 10-time major winner spent 20 minutes there before getting into a courtesy car and leaving the course. That was more than an hour before the pairings for the first two rounds were released, placing Woods with Nick Faldo and Shingo Katayama.

Woods is the defending champion this week but missed the cut in his last major, the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

Consecutive rounds of 76 and a 12 over total of 152 meant Woods had a weekend off for the first time in 38 majors as a professional, also ending his run of 39 consecutive made cuts in the majors, including two as an amateur.

It was a disappointing, if not entirely unpredictable, end to his return to action after a nine-week layoff following the death of his father, but the 30-year-old finished second in the Western Open two weeks ago and will again start favorite to win a third Claret Jug.

The Open has not been played at Hoylake since 1967 when Robert de Vicenzo of Argentina won the only major title of his career. De Vicenzo finished two shots clear of Jack Nicklaus on 10-under, and a similarly low score or better could be on the cards if the weather remains fine.

It is understood that Open officials are unhappy that the recent dry spell means the rough has not grown as much as they would like and they will be hoping for some wind to get up later in the week.

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