Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Woods says British Open has become best shot at a major

Kristopher Love | 19 July, 2018, 13:55

Three-time victor Woods, who missed out in the last two years due to injury, will get his campaign for a 15th major title under way at 1521 alongside Japan's Hideki Matsuyama and Scotland's Russell Knox.

By anyone's money, his haul of four majors since 2011 is excellent, indeed the best in the game for the timeframe, but it is bewildering that a player so good should be on such a barren run.

And the 39-year-old revealed which European player he would pick as his Ryder Cup partner if given the chance.

The last of Woods' Open titles came back in 2006 at Hoylake and the 42-year-old will encounter similar conditions at Carnoustie, which is playing so hard and fast that players have been driving into the Barry Burn in front of the 18th green in practice. And there's something about links golf that inspires him.

"I enjoy this type of golf because it is creative", he said. It looked as though he was going to have a chance at winning the U.S Open at Shinnecock heading into Saturday, but faltered over the weekend. "And I think that's the fun challenge of it".

Jordan Spieth was practicing Tuesday for the 147th British Open when something caught his eye. He finished T12 and T7 in his last two trips to Carnoustie in 2007 and 1999, respectively. "I was just dead", he said.

"You've got the tee times are in there and I was at like 1.30, " he told Golf Australia.

"You get to places like Augusta where it is just a big ball park and the golf course outgrows you unfortunately". "I was just trying to soak everything in, and I was just so grateful to be here".

That said, distance is everything at Carnoustie this year, which Woods discovered when he arrived Sunday. Players have a reasonable idea how far the ball travels in the air. It's how far it travels once it gets on the baked turf. I can hit them low too.

Tiger Woods, however, said that controlling a driver that can potentially roll for 80 yards or more can make that strategy risky. "I like all of them".

As is always the case with DraftKings contests for major championships, there is great value to be had throughout all of the picks at the British Open. "He's a marvellous putter and he hits the ball pretty straight". "I think sometimes I need to get back to that attitude where I play carefree and am just happy to be here".

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Shane Lowry of Ireland, right, see it a bit differently on the 16th at Carnoustie.

His club off the tee was an eight-iron. Instead, most of his shots are with a 3-iron or 4-iron.

Sandy Lyle, Martin Kaymer and Andy Sullivan start things off as the first group Thursday and the trio of Matt Jones, Thomas Curtis and Bronson Burgoon are scheduled to tee off as the final group at a stateside-friendly time of 11:16 a.m. Just, "This is where I want to hit it".

There was a spell not so long ago when Tiger Woods, in the depths of despair over recurring back problems, felt he would never again grace the fairways of a British Open.