Tiger Woods left Hoylake in an optimistic mood despite carding a closing three over par 75 that left him languishing well down the field on six-over-par 294.
That is 24 shots more than he needed while completing his two shot victory at the 2006 Open Championship at Hoylake but he refused to be too downhearted about the state of his game.
“I didn’t play very well today. I made way too many mistakes but at least I got another four rounds in,” said the former World No. 1 who was making just his second competitive appearance since undergoing major back surgery back in March.
Woods started brightly with a three-under-par 69 but blamed lack of golf for carding 77, 73 and 75 over the following three days.
“I was sort of expecting it,” he said. “I know how to grind it out on links courses but my game wasn’t there.
“But it’s encouraging. I’ve got more game time under my belt. Obviously, there’s a lot of things I need to work on, but haven’t been able to work on a lot. I was down for three months and I’m just starting to come back.
Woods’ enforced absence means he is currently well out of the Ryder Cup reckoning but believes captain Tom Watson should pick him if he is in need of a wild card.
“I would say yes, But that’s my position, my take on it,” he said “But he’s the captain, it’s his decision. He’s going to field the best 12 players who he thinks will win the cup back and I hope I’m on that team.
“I got picked by Corey back in whenever it was we played in Wales,” he added. “I was coming off an injury there as well with my Achilles but I felt I was able to contribute to the team. That’s all you want as a pick, you want someone who can contribute to the team, whether it’s in support or it’s in play. I did it then but hopefully I can still earn my way on to this team.”