Open Championship

Spieth on links crash course

2015-07-15 06:44
Jordan Spieth (AFP)

St Andrews - Jordan Spieth continued his crash course on playing links golf at St Andrews on Tuesday, with two days left till the start of the 144th Open Championship.

Standing halfway to an unprecedented calendar year Grand Slam of all four golf majors after wins in the Masters and US Open, the 21-year-old Texan raised more than a few eyebrows by playing, and winning, a tournament in the United States in the week prior to The Open.

And that despite the fact of only ever having played the Old Course once, four years ago before representing his country in the amateur Walker Cup at Aberdeen.

Spieth insists that at 21 he knows what he is doing, but he did admit to some fans of feeling "a little tired" after playing his second career round at St Andrews on Monday afternoon.

He was back again on Tuesday afternoon, stepping out for 18 holes with Ryan Palmer and Texan amateur Oliver Schiederjans, who is a month older than him.

Meanwhile, the debate over his "formula" for playing major golf raged, with some believing he may have blown his chances of making it three majors in a row, and others saying he was best to follow his own instincts.

Woods, twice a winner at St Andrews, in 2000 and 2005, has his doubts that Spieth has chosen correctly by depending on a golf simulator to get acquainted with the course.

"It's about wind conditions. It's about understanding how to play the golf course under various winds," he said.

"You can see the golf course on a simulator and it's fantastic. I've seen it. But playing in the different winds and having to hit the different shots, shaping shots completely differently from one day to the next on the same hole, it does help seeing the golf course under different winds."

Woods was one of the first players to arrive at the course and played his first practice round on Saturday saying he was surprised to find out how soft and receptive the greens and fairways were.

"It's playing a little bit differently than we've had in previous Opens, or the previous Opens that I've played in," he said.

"It's a little bit softer and I'm sure it's going to get even softer with the forecast (rain) for Friday. It'll be playing a little bit differently this year."

The weather was on many minds with the forecast for some heavy rain and strong winds coming in off the North Sea on Friday and Saturday set to play havoc with yardage cards.

Justin Rose, the top-ranking British player in the draw has struggled to challenge in recent Opens and he feels part of that has been due to back luck in the draw.

"The draw is a funny thing, especially at an Open Championship," he said.

"It can make things lopsided, especially on golf courses where you've got out and back in. If the wind switches at a certain time you can play a course into the wind all day versus the guys who played it downwind the whole day.

"You just hope over the course of a career that that evens itself out. But I'd say the last five years I've been on the wrong side of things, but I was looking forward to maybe lady luck turning and going my way this year, so we'll see."

Read more on:    open championship  |  jordan spieth  |  golf

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