The Open is already seeing crazy shots as players take advantage of the 'burnt out' course

Harry How/Getty ImagesThe dry conditions at Carnoustie Golf Links added quite a bit of intrigue heading into the Open Championship, and players are already taking advantage through the first round of the event.
  • Conditions at the Open Championship at Carnoustie are unlike anything seen at a recent major.
  • The “burnt out” course has already led to some fascinating play and strategic decisions early in the first round, with balls travelling far off the tee and some players feeling confident in driving the green in the early going.
  • Players like Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, and Jordan Spieth have already shown why the course’s conditions could make this one of the most exciting tournaments of the year.

The Open Championship teed off on Thursday at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland, bringing together the best golfers in the world for one of the most challenging tests in the sport.

While the Open is always a thrill to watch, with the high bunkers, tough rough, and overall volatility that links golf presents, this year’s tournament has an added chaotic factor – the course is completely “burnt out.”

Due to dry conditions, Carnoustie is playing extremely short and quick – Tiger Woods said after a practice round earlier in the week that “the fairways are faster than the greens.”

The result is that players have even more options to navigate an already creative course. Those that want to test their limits can hit booming drives that could potentially reach the green, while other players could opt for sticking to irons all weekend, as they’re shooting as much as 300 yards off the hard fairways.

Just halfway through the first round, we’ve already seen some examples of the creative, if chaotic, play that Carnoustie affords.

Jon Rahm decided to test his limits early, driving for the green on his third hole of the day. Rather than laying up ahead of the “burn” – the narrow river that crisscrosses the course – Rahm shot right at it, bouncing his tee shot just in front of the hazard and pinging it up onto the green. He would two-putt for an easy birdie.

Reigning U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka has also shown his aggressiveness off the tees early, shooting for the green on two of the first three holes of the day and leaving fans watching at home in absolute awe.

The action isn’t just happening off the tee. Stuck with a daunting bunker between his ball and the green, Jordan Spieth used the fast fairways and steep slopes of the hazard to his advantage, sending a sloping putt around the sand to bring him right up to the pin.

It’s not a shot you’re likely to see at another tournament this year.

The 2018 Open Championship is already shaping up to be a tournament for the ages. After last year’s final round featured one of the most creative golf shots in recent memory, it looks as though this year’s tournament could provide a similar dramatic ending.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.