Woods may know his time is up, says golfing great.

Tiger Woods looks set to bomb out of the 144th Open. Picture by Michael Gillen.
Tiger Woods looks set to bomb out of the 144th Open. Picture by Michael Gillen.

They say that you can’t miss something you never had.

But what if you did have ‘something’? a special talent for example which didn’t just make you good - it made you great.

The talent you had made you the best of the best, even the best of all time.

How would it feel to have that and then lose it?

Most of us will never know, but Open golf hero and British sporting legend Tony Jacklin reckons former world number one Tiger Woods is battling it just now.

To watch Tiger at the Open over his two days at the Old Course has been sad.

Not once has he ever been in contention at a competition he’d regularly dominate, sometimes not from the start, but by the weekend, when it really mattered, he always managed to claw his competitors back before surging past them.

It hasn’t happened this week, it hasn’t happened for some time, and Jacklin fears one of the greatest sportsmen of all time is in denial that his time has ran out.

“What he has done for the game and for sport in general is absolutely incredible,” said Jacklin, winner of the 1969 Open title.

“He reigned supreme.

“But suffice to say we all have our time and age will rule in the end.

“There comes a point when you realise that you’re losing a bit.

“With me it was when I started to get anxious with my putting.

“With Seve there was a point he couldn’t hit a ten acre field.

“Everyone tries to help but they can’t.”

Woods, now 39, came off the course following a first round 76 in relatively high spirits, saying that yesterday’s turn in the weather could play into the hands of a links course expert like him.

Due to Saturday’s suspension of play, he’s still to complete his second round, but looks some way off making the cut, needing to pick up at least four strokes in his final six holes to have any chance.

“He continues to be confident in his ability, he’s done it so often that he feels it’s still there,” said Jacklin.

“But maybe reality hasn’t taken hold of him yet.

“We all go through denial.”

Tony Jacklin was speaking to selected members of the Scottish press as ambassador for Glenmorangie.