Los Angeles, June 11 :

Tiger Woods admits he will be taking a step into the unknown at next week’s US Open as he returns to competition for the first time since his father’s death.

Earl was a huge influence on his son’s career and Woods says he doesn’t know what emotions he will experience when the US Open at Winged Foot starts on Thursday.

One player on the tour who can empathise with Woods is Davis Love III, whose father, Davis Love jnr died in a plane crash in 1988. Love, who won the 1997 PGA Championship, said: “Obviously my dad was a big part of everything I did and will do in my golf. Tiger is going to be in the same boat as me.”

Woods would have faced a tough time in New York regardless of the circumstances as he prepares for the tournament at what Masters champion Phil Mickelson calls “the hardest member’s course I’ve ever seen.”