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The Open 2018: Tiger Woods aims for major return at Carnoustie links

18 July, 2018, 08:06 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • Masters champion Patrick Reed goes through a practice round for the 147th British Open on Tuesday in Carnoustie Scotland. The tournament begins on Thursday

Not quite, but I digress.

When Tiger Woods speaks, everyone listens.

His putting, however, is another matter.

The Open will be Woods' 12th tournament of the year in his comeback from a spinal fusion 15 months ago, and his return has been a work in progress, sometimes two steps forward and one step back. His other Memorial putting stats were similarly terrible: he finished in the negative in strokes-gained/putting each of the four days and took 31 putts on both Saturday and Sunday.

Patrick Reed - The 2018 Masters champion followed his win at Augusta National by making a run at the 2018 U.S. Open title before ultimately falling short to Brooks Koepka. The result? A tie for fourth. "That's just the way it goes", Woods continued.

And given Woods has not played an Open Championship links venue in three years, he insisted that was no disadvantage to him ahead of what will be his 20th Open.

Carnoustie - or "Carnasty" as it's been affectionately dubbed - has hosted two of the four highest scoring Open Championships since World War Two, with Gary Player winning with a score of 289 in 1968 and Paul Lowrie claiming the Claret Jug with a cumulative score of 290 in 1999. "It was one of the cooler things, just standing on that range and hitting the ball to the 100 yard sign".

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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.

"You don't have to be long to play on a links-style golf course".

That happened in 2015 at St. Andrews, where much of the third round was delayed due to windy conditions; balls would not stop rolling on greens. No need, he says, with this putter.

"It's pretty easy playing this place when it's really firm and fast, and it's very easy to tell into the wind and downwind kind of where you want to leave the ball", he said.

That's not the only change Woods has made, by the way. With Carnoustie playing so firm, it's possible he noted that he could approach it the same way he did Hoylake in 2006.

"It has a little more swing to it", Woods told reporters. Putting better will help, too.


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