Jason Day channeling Tiger Woods at British Open

Lula Sharp
July 19, 2018

Carnoustie - aka "Carnasty" - has not been kind to Australians.

"You don't have to be long to play at a links course", said the 42-year-old, whose swing speed is still among the fastest on tour, despite his creeping age and major back surgeries.

"What I never understood is, when you win the 2000 U.S. Open by 15 shots, we're not talking about five shots we're talking about 15, within two weeks he's having a lesson", said the super-fit, silver-haired veteran. In the 18-hole playoff Watson went down the last a shot ahead and made par; Newton had a five-metre par-saving putt to extend it, but it burned the hole, leaving him second.

In 1999, the year Frenchman Jean Van de Velde famously blew his hopes of victory as he tried to play out of the Barry Burn in front of the 18th green, the weather added an extra layer of difficulty.

McIlroy's greatest asset, both then and now, was his driving - he put on clinics at Congressional and Kiawah, Hoylake and Valhalla.

This time around, the fairways are baked hard, which will make it interesting to say the least. "He tees it up, sees the shot and just goes".

The eve of the British Open felt like cramming for a final exam, a multiple choice one with no obvious answers.

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Tiger Woods and Lucas Herbert share a practice round at Carnoustie. "It's going to be an interesting test to see which clubs we're going to be using off the tees, and a lot of it is dependent on which way the wind blows".

Speaking at Carnoustie on Tuesday two days before the championship's first round, Woods said the Open puts less emphasis on power, a good thing for a golfer entering middle age. "I feel good about the game", he said as he targets the $1.89 million first prize.

"To have the opportunity to come back to play here in Scotland again, I've said this before throughout this year, it's been a blessing". I can hit them low too. One of my favorites is Poulter, who has turned his career around this year and has now recorded seven-straight Top 30 finishes.

Phil Mickelson of the United States during a practice round ahead of the Open Championship.

Fowler, like his fellow American Woods, has proved he has the game to thrive on exposed seaside links courses like Carnoustie.

McIlroy grew up with this kind of golf in Northern Ireland near next year's Open venue, Royal Portrush. "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".

Adam Scott would be the fairytale victor this week, having come so close so many times including 2012 when his four, consecutive bogeys to close at Royal Lytham saw him throw away a title that was his, gifting the win to Ernie Els.

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