Open 2014: Tiger Woods warns rivals he is 'getting stronger'

The Open Championship 2014

Venue: Royal Liverpool Golf Club Date: 17-20 July

Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Sport website, mobile & app, and Connected TVs

Former world number one Tiger Woods has warned his rivals that he is "only going to get stronger" before this month's Open Championship.

Woods, 38, underwent back surgery in March and missed the cut on his return at the Quicken Loans National in June.

But the 14-time major winner won the Open the last time it was at Hoylake, in 2006, and feels good for this year.

"I've got my speed back," Woods said after a practice round. "I can do whatever I want. I'm at that point."

American Woods, who has won the Claret Jug on three occasions, said a cautious approach to his return to fitness has paid dividends.

He is now ready to challenge for his first major title since the 2008 US Open, at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

Tiger Woods's major titles

Masters:

US Open:

Open Championship:

US PGA:

1997, 2001, 2002, 2005

2000, 2002, 2008

2000, 2005, 2006

1999, 2000, 2006, 2007

"The little baby steps worked," Woods said. "We were very diligent about what I was doing. Going into it we pushed it pretty hard to get my abs and glutes strong so when I did come back I was able to rebound fast.

"Before I had the procedure, I was at the point I couldn't do anything. I had my good weeks and bad weeks. Now they are all good."

Despite missing the cut on his comeback, Woods said his workout in Bethesda gave him belief he could compete again.

"Congressional was big for me, the fact I could go out there and play and I got better as the days went on," Woods said.

Woods only used his driver once in 2006, using irons and 3-woods off the tee on the rock-hard links and is confident about the way he is playing ahead of this year's tournament.

"I'm starting to hit the ball out there again. I'm only going to get stronger. As the weeks go on, I'm getting strong and faster."