Royal and Ancient (R&A) chief executive Peter Dawson is ‘certain’ that Tiger Woods will play in the Open Championship at St Andrews, but has warned that anyone attempting to distract him will be ejected from the Home of Golf.

Organisers are still awaiting Woods‘ entry, but Dawson has no doubt the world number one will attempt to become the first player to win three Opens at St Andrews.

He said: “Tiger Woods has not yet entered, but in a normal year he would not have done that anyway, so I am absolutely certain he will be with us.”

After announcing the lenghtening of St Andrews’ 17th ‘Road Hole’, Dawson also dismissed any extra security issues, adding: “By the time the Open comes around, Tiger‘s return to the game will be well established.

”The Masters had a major problem in really having no idea what to expect, but we will have the benefit of several Tiger events behind us prior to the Open.

“We will be discussing the whole security position as we always do with the police.”

Woods was well-received at the Masters, but tight security meant there was no disruption from spectators.

Dawson was asked about the potential reaction to the American’s sex scandal and he commented: “We are not in a police state and people can say what they like, but if they start putting players off we have to take steps. 

“They will be asked to stop and if they don’t stop they will be asked to leave.”

Dawson has chosen not to criticise Woods as the Augusta National chairman did.

“Because it was the first event back Billy Payne had a decision to make and having made that decision I thought he did it well. It was very measured and well-crafted.”

The 2010 Open Championship begins on July 15.

Where next?

Open news: St Andews’s Road Hole lengthened
Tiger Woods: Tears for Tiger
US Masters review: Golf Monthly microsite