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Tiger Woods Ruffling Feathers at British Open

Obviously he's not there to make friends.

Obviously he’s not there to make friends.

The good news is that it looks like Tiger Woods’ elbow has healed from injury and that he has come ready to play—and hopefully win—the 2013 British Open. The bad news is that again he’s making headlines for breaking course rules and the tournament hasn’t even started yet.

You may recall that Woods was penalized for taking an illegal drop during the Masters earlier this year. He was also suspected of another illegal drop at the Players Championship, which was held just a month later. Woods wasn’t penalized at TPC, but NBC analysts definitely questioned the legality of the drop during the broadcast.

On Monday London newspaper The Sun reported that Woods was reprimanded by course officials at Muirfield during an early-morning practice round. According to the report, he ignored a sign on the back nine which stated that play was prohibited before 7 a.m. because of work being done by the grounds crew.

Woods had played through the front nine on Sunday and was eager to get in some time on the back, so he arrived at the crack of dawn on the chilly Scotland Monday morning. He was quite surprised when a fairway marshal charged at him and ordered him off the tee, but apparently it was a simple misunderstanding.

After the marshal pointed out the sign, he immediately apologized and departed for the first tee. Woods played the first couple of holes with his friendly foe Rory McIlroy before heading back over to the 11th. He’ll be paired with Graeme McDowell and former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen during the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday.

This weekend Woods is hoping to end his five-year drought in the majors. He’s even employing the same strategy that helped him win his third Open at Hoylake in 2006—forgoing his driver entirely to compensate for the ridiculous wind gusts that are common at the British courses.

We’ll see if ignoring course rules and ditching the driver pay off for Woods soon enough! He needs to watch it with those drops though—people are going to be watching him like a hawk.

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