Woods feared British Open visits were a thing of the past

146th Open Championship- Final Round

The 2018 Open Championship will be played at Carnoustie Golf Links on the east coast of Scotland. "And I was just like, 'Wow, I just hit a drive over 300 yards.' And now I'm hitting 2-irons over 360". In his last five Opens, McIlroy has an average finish of 3.3 with a missed cut and a DNP mixed in. "I feel very confident with the way I'm rolling the golf ball, but the greens were a little bit slower yesterday and I'm sure they'll be a little bit slower today with a bit of moisture".

Jordan Spieth is the defending champion and is looking to become the first player since Padraig Harrington in 2008 to win back-to-back Opens.

While the U.S. Open was an exceedingly hard course this year, with breakneck-paced greens and narrow fairways forcing some of the coolest heads in golf to go on tilt momentarily, links golf presents a whole new set of challenges to the players this weekend.

Woods was a quick study that week, entering the final round in a tie for 12th before fading with a 78 that left him tied for 48th.

"It stuck with me", Tiger said.

Woods finished joint seventh in 1999 and in a tie for 12th in 2007 on his other visits to The Open at Carnoustie. Knox won the Irish Open two weeks ago on links and is in good form.

GOLF-OPEN-BRITAIN
Carnoustie's fairways are expected to be faster than the greens this week

The 31-year-old is happy with his group, both US PGA champions Keegan Bradley (2011) and Jason Dufner (2013), and says tee times are simply a lottery with the changeable weather. "I'm going to spend a little time trying to get a pace for it". You know a wonderful shot down the middle of the fairway could bounce some weird way. "You get to places like Augusta National, where it's just a big ballpark, and the golf course outgrows you, unfortunately". That's just part of it.

A new putter, razor-sharp iron play and favourable conditions are reasons to be cheerful for Woods. And I think that's the fun challenge of it.

The return of Woods, who inspired numerous 20-something Americans to take up the sport, will be intriguing to see if the sea air awakens the genius in him.

"The guys who have done well have been wonderful feel players and also wonderful lag putters", he said, citing Tom Watson, who almost won the Open at age 59 in 2009, and Greg Norman, who contended at Birkdale the year before at 53.

Woods also noted that on the baked-out yellow brick road that was Carnoustie earlier this week, the fairways are running hotter than the greens. "A links-style golf course you can just roll the ball", added the 42-year-old. At over 7,400 yards, Carnoustie is the longest Open course ever, meaning players will have to deal with serious distance as well as challenging coastal winds. For the week, Woods hit just a single driver, choosing to play irons off the tees for positioning and wearing out the field with some incredible iron play to the greens.

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