British Open: Forget the odds, conditions could bring surprise victor

Tanya Simon
July 18, 2018

Woods, who returned from his latest back operation at the end of past year, has blown hot and cold this season but he clearly can not wait to get to grips with Carnoustie for the fourth time in his career.

Speaking to media on the eve of the tournament, McIlroy said: "I have had a decent career up to this point and I have a lot of time to add to the major tally".

The baked out fairways at Carnoustie will allow Woods to shelve his driver, which he's struggled to hit, and put on a stripe show with his irons all week. Weather conditions are typically the reason. But he also had The Open on his mind. "This putter has grooves in it, so it does roll initially a little faster and a little bit more true".

A little bit of Jean Van de Velde will always live on at Carnoustie, but his legacy - of humility, perspective and charity - will live longer. "It's going to help me on these greens, for sure, because normally when I've come over here, and virtually nearly every single Open I've played in, I would put lead tape on my putters to try and get it a little bit heavier and get the ball rolling".

Already, there are numerous stories about how far the ball is rolling down fairways. I think ownership on Spieth is going to be much lower than what we are used to seeing because of his recent form but I think he bounces back this week. I hit a three-iron that went to 330 yards out here. "It was one of the cooler things, just standing on that range and hitting the ball to the 100 yard sign".

Captain of the club Bill Thompson believes it may now be time for the R&A to review how they can stage the Championship at traditional Open venues.

Carnoustie's fairways are expected to be faster than the greens this week

It is the first time Woods will have contested an Open Championship since missing the halfway cut in the 2015 Open at St Andrews while it will be the fourth occasion he has teed-up in a Carnoustie Open. He claims that he needed a break from golf for a few weeks as it was "burning him out" so I am hoping he is rejuvenated heading into The Open. He's definitely capable of winning this week. Fowler's short game will serve him well if he gets in trouble this week and his putter will take him to his first major victory.

"It's more about getting the feel", he said. I've progressed throughout the year and had some nice little momentum things, building blocks, which is positive.

"If we never had a bad lie", wrote the Scottish architect Alister MacKenzie, "we are not likely to appreciate a good one, and moreover, the ability to play from a bad lie differentiates between a good player and a bad one".

The 2018 Open Championship will be played at Carnoustie Golf Links on the east coast of Scotland.

The 42-year-old American, world number 16 Matsuyama and Knox, victor of the Irish Open two weeks ago, will tee-off at 1521 local time.

The ball will bounce all over the place and where the tee shots land will be far from where they finish up.

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