Tiger Woods optimistic about this week’s British Open

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods practices on the Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland on Tuesday ahead of the British Open, which starts Thursday.

(Glyn Kirk / AFP/Getty Images)

There’s at least one person in this world who hasn’t counted Tiger Woods out quite yet.

And that would be Tiger Woods.

“I know some of you guys think I’m buried and done,” he said at a news conference before the British Open. “But I’m still right here in front of you.”

Almost two years have gone by since the 39-year-old’s last victory on the PGA Tour, and he hasn’t won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open. Still, he expressed optimism about playing at St. Andrews this week.

“I’ve always loved this golf course,” he said. “There’s just something special about it.”

Speaking with reporters, Woods eschewed talking about retirement, preferring to focus on his revamped swing -- a work in progress, he said -- and stretches of encouraging play at recent tournaments such as the Memorial and the Masters, where he finished tied for 17th.

“I’m still young. I’m not 40 yet,” he said. “I love playing, I love competing and I love playing these events.”

On Thursday he will be paired with Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Day in first-round play.