Framework

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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches a shot during the third practice round at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Stuart Franklin / Getty Images

Scoreboard staff watch the action during the third practice round at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Andrew Redington / Getty Images

Tiger Woods of the United States holds a ball during a practice round at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jon Super / Associated Press

Ian Poulter of England plays a bunker shot during the third practice round at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Stuart Franklin / Getty Images

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland chats with Pete Cowen on the practice ground during the third practice round at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Stuart Franklin / Getty Images

John Daly putts on the 5th green during a practice round at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: GLYN KIRK / AFP / Getty Images

Tom Watson of the United States walks to the 11th tee during a practice round at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Chris Carlson / Associated Press

Spanish golfer Gonzalo Fernandez Castano throws his club in anger on the third and final day of practice for the British Open at Royal Lytham St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: GEOFF CADDICK / EPA

Graeme Mcdowell of Northern Ireland watches a shot during the third practice round prior to the start of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Stuart Franklin / Getty Images

Hunter Mahan of the United States hits a bunker shot during the second practice round prior to the start of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Harry How / Getty Images

Tiger Woods of the United States hits a shot during the second practice round at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

A golf spectator wearing a tiger suit waits for Tiger Woods during practice at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: PETER MUHLY / AFP / Getty Images

Tiger Woods of the United States plays a bunker shot during the second practice round at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

Dwarfed by a massive bunker, Tiger Woods of the United States waits on a green during the first practice round at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Andrew Redington / Getty Images

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits a shot during the first practice round at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Andrew Redington / Getty Images

Lee Westwood of England plays a bunker shot during the first practice round at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Andrew Redington / Getty Images

Tiger Woods of the United States on the 5th green during a practice round at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Tim Hales / Associated Press

Rickie Fowler, left, gestures to Phil Mickelson, center, during a practice round at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Tim Hales / Associated Press

Phil Mickelson of the U.S. walks around the rough grass during the second day of British Open practice at Royal Lytham St Annes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: GERRY PENNY / EPA

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Countdown to the 141st Open Championship

The British Open could be where Tiger Woods puts the past behind him.

A long and painful climb back to No. 1 could culminate at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes course for Woods, showing more confidence and poise.

Has the growl returned? Has the passage of time allowed the golf game of Woods to snarl once again?

Those questions probably will be answered this weekend, on a scary golf course of narrow fairways and high rough that is shielded from the roguish weather of the Irish Sea by little more than a line of sand dunes.

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