Published: 00:00, 13 March 2003
| Updated: 15:56, 14 March 2003
TIGER WOODS, the world’s undisputed number one golfer, has sent his entry for this year’s Open Championship at Sandwich to the Royal and Ancient headquarters in St Andrew’s.
That brings to seven the number of past or present champions who have already committed themselves to play at Royal St George's in July, including reigning champion Ernie Els.
Other past champions who have sent in early entries for the Open include five-times winner Tom Watson and Greg Norman, whose final round 64 earned him the 1993 title the last time the championship was played at Royal St George's.
Sandy Lyle, also a winner at Sandwich in 1985, three-times champion Seve Ballesteros and Justin Leonard, the victor at Royal Troon in 1997, complete the Open champions line-up at this early stage of the season.
Other entries have been received from former US Open champions Steve Jones and Retief Goosen and from double Masters winner Jose Maria Olazabal.
Ryder Cup hero Paul McGinley, who holed the winning putt at the Belfry in September, has entered together with team-mates from that historic encounter Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke, Phillip Price and Lee Westwood.
The closing date for entries is May 29 when more than 2,000 players are expected to have submitted their names. Only 156 will make it through to the championship from July 17-20.