A young German confirmed his place at The Open via Final Qualifying, so now we have a Tiger in the field and full of confidence ahead of his major debut
If you come across a young, budding golfer named Tiger, you’d be forgiven for thinking the name comes from the 15-time major-winning icon.
But not in Tiger Christensen’s case, as the German amateur revealed shortly after qualifying for The Open Championship at West Lancashire earlier this month.
He carded rounds of 67 and 68 to reach 9-under-par and secure one of five spots up for grabs at Hoylake. He will tee it up where Tiger Woods won his third Claret Jug in 2006, but the young star was unfazed by the inevitable comparisons between himself and the American.
“It’s not only after Tiger Woods,” he said. “My dad also had a very good friend who is a boxer, who is retired now, but his ring name was Tiger, so it’s 50/50.
“To me, he’s the greatest of all time. With all the things he’s done, I think it’s really special what he’s done for the game and how he’s changed the game and made it more popular.
“For me, it’s never been (a burden). It’s just my birth name. I understand people are going to compare me. With everything I do, they’re going to compare me straight to him, but at the end of the day, it’s a different time and I don’t have any connection to him familywise. It’s just a name.”
Qualified ✅— West Lancs Golf Club (@WestLancsGC) July 4, 2023
Congratulations to Matt Wallace, Matthew Jordan, Kyle Barker, Alex Fitzpatrick & Tiger Christensen for securing their place at the 151st Open!
Stellar golf all round ahead of the Claret Jug’s return to @rlgchoylake
@therandagolf @theopen pic.twitter.com/jtqe37I6Bd
He needed plenty of fight to advance through a competitive Final Open Qualifying tournament on Merseyside that saw Matt Wallace, Kyle Barker, Matthew Jordan, and playing partner Alex Fitzpatrick also advance to Royal Liverpool.
The towering 19-year-old is ranked 261st in the World Amateur Rankings and has two collegiate titles to his name having attended university in Oklahoma and Arizona. He also won the German International Amateur Championship in 2021.
Christensen has harnessed the success of his friends who qualified for the US Open in Los Angeles via local qualifying events. He fell three shots short of playing at LACC when trying to qualify in Dallas, but his confidence only grew when arriving in the UK.
“I don’t want to sound cocky, but I was pretty certain of qualifying,” Christensen said. “I played at US Open qualifying this year and I fell just short.
“But a lot of my friends from college qualified, so a lot of guys I know pretty well qualified for the US Open this year, so I felt like it wasn’t too far away. I just had to do what they did and play my game.
“I’m going to have to talk with my coach, understand what’s going on and it’s going to be a great experience. I’m just going to go with zero expectations and take it all in.”
It may not be the one we hoped for, but there will be a Tiger at The Open after all, and one no doubt determined to secure the Silver Medal as the highest-performing amateur.
NOW READ: 2023 Open Championship field
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