After playing what he called his best golf in two years at the Greenbriar, Tiger Woods is going into the British Open looking better than he did before last month’s US Open.
On Saturday he played three holes at St. Andrews as part of a Nike event. Afterward, he had some interesting things to say about the course where he has won two of his three Open titles.
He told ESPN that the Old Course at St. Andrews was way softer than he expected, and it’s going to change his game plan.
“I was shocked. I had seen photos of it a month ago. It was bone dry. It looked like it was going to be one of those dust bowls again; hard, fast, like the years I’ve played St. Andrews. It’s changed. They got big rain and a lot of sun. It’s totally changed.
He said everything he worked on last week is out the window:
“I wasn’t expecting it to be this soft. The shot selections I was working on last week and some of the trajectories I was envisioning on certain holes and certain winds and the ball chasing and what I need to do to make it move on the ground. It’s going to be different. It’s going to be more forced carries than I was expecting coming into the event.”
ESPN’s Bob Harig said on SportsCenter that it’d be a different sort of British Open.
“It looks greener than Chambers Bay did,” he said, referring to the US Open course.
Golf writer Geoff Shackleford checked out the course and said he thought Tiger was overstating how soft it was. But he added that the winning score might be super low given the conditions:
“What the spitting rain is doing today or the forecasted weather later in the week remains to be seen. Either way, it must be remembered that with such impeccable turf conditions the scoring will be excellent. Records may fall.”
When asked about what he has heard about St. Andrews after winning the John Deere Classic, Jordan Spieth said word on the street is the course is soft.
“Only thing I’ve heard so far is that it’s playing softer than usual, which that’s kind of nice for having come from here,” he said.
As if 64-61 the last two days didn’t have Jordan Spieth licking his chops, news that St. Andrews is playing soft should have him salivating.
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelESPN) July 11, 2015
A month ago the US Open was played at a links course that resembled something you’d find in the UK. While St. Andrews certainly won’t play like a traditional US Open this week, it might be different than many expect.
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