Tiger Woods is determined to make the most of this week's Open after admitting he feared he might never play in the championship ever again.
Addressing the media at Carnoustie this morning, Woods said that he felt fortunate to be able to take his place in the field having sat out the last two editions of the event as a result of the back injuries that have dogged him over the last few seasons.
"There were definitely points in time I thought that I'd never play in this championship again," admitted Woods, a winner of the Claret Jug in 2000, 2005 and 2006.
"Watching it on TV is great but it's better in person. I remembered how it feels to come down the last hole with a chance to win it and knowing that I may never have that chance again, there were some times in there that it definitely didn't feel very good.
"But now to have the opportunity to come back here to Carnoustie and play in Scotland again, I've said this before throughout this year but it's been a blessing.
"There were some times when I didn't think I'd be able to do this again and lo and behold, here I am playing my third major of the year.
Woods, who won the most recent of his 14 major at the 2008 US Open, also added his belief that The Open represents his best chance of future major success.
"As far as long-term, I would say [so]," he said. "You don't have to be long to win on a links-style golf course. You look at what Tom [Watson] did at Turnberry at 59 and Greg was there at Birkdale around 53 or 54 years of age, so it certainly can be done.
"You get to places like Augusta National where it's just a big ball park and the golf course outgrows you unfortunately. That's just the way it goes. But a links golf course, you can roll the ball. Distance becomes a moot point but creativity plays such an important role and when you get guys like Tom doing so well later on in his career - there's a reason why he won five of these."
Woods gets underway in The Open on Thursday at 3.21pm in the company of Hideki Matsuyama and Russell Knox.
Watch Tiger's presser in full!