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The 150th Open: Players pay tribute to Tiger Woods after emotional missed cut at St Andrews

Tiger Woods carded rounds of 78 and 75 to finish on nine over and miss the cut in the final men's major of the year; 46-year-old admitted after his early exit that he may not get to play another St Andrews-based edition of The Open

Tiger Woods has accepted his appearance at The 150th Open may be his last at St Andrews, but many of the world's leading golfers still expect to see him back at the Old Course in the future.

An emotional Woods fought back tears as he crossed the Swilcan Bridge during his second-round 75, with the former world No 1's hopes of a third victory at St Andrews and fourth in The Open resulting in a missed cut.

Woods will be in his 50s when The Open next returns to St Andrews, no earlier than 2026 and possibly as far away as 2030, with the 15-time major champion doubting whether he will physically still be able to compete by the time it is back at the Old Course.

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Paul McGinley reflects on the legacy Woods will leave after what could be his last appearance at The Open

"Everyone hopes it's not the end of Tiger's Old Course career. I think he deserves, and we deserve, him to have another crack at it," said Rory McIlroy, after a four-under 68 left him 10 under heading into the weekend.

"Hopefully The Open's back here in four or five years' time and he does get another crack at it because with how good he's been throughout his career and how good he's been at the Old Course, I think he's got better in him.

"He was all our hero growing up and we want to see him do well. We want to see him still out there competing. This week was obviously a tough week for him but we're all behind him, we're all pulling for him."

Jon Rahm said: "I'm hoping this is not Tiger's last. I'm hoping somehow he can get healthier and be back. From what I heard, it will be in 2030, which is eight years from now, which is probably a few years too long.

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"I wouldn't be surprised if he makes the effort just to play [at the next St Andrews Open] and do a proper goodbye. I wish him nothing but the best. He's done amazing things here and amazing things everywhere in the world.

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"I'm hoping he can stay healthy and live a normal life from now on. You can tell he's in pain. I know he puts on a front and tries to walk normal but you can tell in certain moments going down some of the hills he's suffering."

US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick and Max Homa played alongside Woods over the first two days, with the pair dropping back on the final hole on Friday to allow the three-time Champion Golfer of the Year to walk ahead and receive a warm reception from the huge crowds.

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Matt Fitzpatrick is hoping to carry momentum into the weekend after carding a second-round 66 at The Open

"It was amazing," Fitzpatrick said. "It gave me goosebumps. Just looking around, seeing everyone stood up and giving him a standing ovation coming down 18, it was incredible.

"It's something that will live with me forever, for sure. It's thoroughly deserved and I think towards the end of it, you could see he was a little bit emotional. It was a big deal."

Live: Saturday @ The Open

World No 1 Scottie Scheffler, who won The Masters when Woods made his competitive comeback at Augusta National, believes the players have embraced him being a part of this iconic Open.

"He may have spoken about it a bit [this being Woods' last at St Andrews], but he's a pretty resilient guy and he loves to compete," Scheffler said. "We'll see what he has in store for us the next few years.

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A look back at the highs and lows of Woods' opening round at The 150th Open from St Andrews

"Any time you can see that guy out on the golf course, especially the Old Course, it's really special. As players, to have him around is pretty cool.

"When he got in that car wreck, we didn't know if we'd have him back, so just to have him out here playing golf is pretty special for all of us."

Cameron Young, who is two strokes behind leader Cameron Smith ahead of round three, added: "Tiger is obviously a huge figure in the game of golf, someone whose game I respect enormously

"It's been incredible to watch him recover from multiple different things and play golf at a high level. It's sad not to have him around for the weekend but I'm sure we'll see plenty of him moving forward."

Sahith Theegala added: "It was so cool seeing him in person, going through his full prep work and out on the range. The people he attracts, it's just incredible what he does for the game. We're never going to be able to thank him enough."

What next for Woods?

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We delve into the archives to look back at some of Woods' greatest shots from his long career at The Open

A missed cut at The Open follows a 47th-place finish at The Masters in April and a mid-tournament withdrawal from the PGA Championship in May, where he carded a third-round 79, with Woods not sure when he will next return to competitive action.

"I'm not retiring from the game," Woods said post-round. "But I don't know if I will be physically able to play back here again when it comes back around. I'll be able to play future Opens, yes, but eight years' time, I doubt if I'll be competitive at this level.

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"It's a struggle just playing just the three events I played this year. That in itself was something I'm very proud of, that I was able to play these three events considering what has transpired.

"Hopefully we do more hard work and give myself some more chances next year to play a few more events. I have nothing, nothing planned. Zero. Maybe something next year. I don't know. But nothing in the near future, this is it. I was just hoping to play this one event this year."

Watch The 150th Open throughout the weekend live on Sky Sports' dedicated channel - Sky Sports The Open. Live at The Range, Featured Holes and Featured Groups will be available via the red button on Sky Sports The Open, along with the Sky Sports website and app.

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