The Open 2019: Tiger Woods waking up in the middle of the night to prep for Royal Portrush

July 8, 2019

It’s that special time of year where links golf takes over and golf fans in America can wake up to a cup of coffee and the greatest players in the world pegging it on the British Isles.

While many of the elite players on the PGA Tour are already over in Europe in their annual acclimation to links golf, one noteworthy player isn’t: Tiger Woods. Woods is still on the East Coast of the United States, but still prepping in his own way.

According to an Instagram Story from Nike, Woods is waking up LONG before dawn in order to help his body adapt to the local time at Royal Portrush, host of the Open Championship, which is five time zones ahead of the East Coast.

“If you want succeed and you want to get better and you want to win and accomplish your goals, it all starts with getting up early,” Woods said, wearing a backwards Nike hat and a cut-off shirt, his classic workout getup. You can check out the video here, but do it quickly — Instagram Stories are only live for 24 hours.

Woods’ preparation for The Open may seem like it’s working for him, but it doesn’t satisfy Padraig Harrington. Last week, Harrington was asked about Woods’ decision to not play between last month’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and next week’s The Open at Portrush.

“I personally think if you’re serious about winning the Open you’ve got to be playing tournament golf at least before it,” Harrington said. “You’d rather be playing links golf and being in a tournament than just [playing] on your own, so if you’re serious about trying to win the Open you should be playing at least one, if not two, of the events running into it.

“I was always mightily impressed when Tiger Woods would play in a major without playing the week before. I’d be a basket case if I didn’t play the week before.”

As my colleague Dylan Dethier made clear, Harrington is one of the rare pros willing to critique Woods’ decisions. Perhaps this 1 a.m. workout plan is all it will take to get his game ready for the event. Woods played one tournament between the two summer majors last year, and famously contended in The Open at Carnoustie.