Published: Wed, July 18, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

British Open: Forget the odds, conditions could bring surprise victor

British Open: Forget the odds, conditions could bring surprise victor

"Sitting here being a major champion, winning the green jacket, it just shows the hard work and dedication that not only I had, but my team and my wife had". And I said, 'No, I'm just enjoying this.

Woods is making his 12th start of 2018 after returning from his fourth back surgery. Amateur champ, who grew up in Southern California where golf success relied on vertical - not horizontal - prowess.

Ryan Fox moved inside the top-10 on the European Tour's moneylist after his sixth-equal finish in the Scottish Open.

"Each tournament I keep feeling a little bit better because I'm starting to play some golf again", he said.

This will be Woods' 20th Open appearance, and he has won three times.

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.

Fox experienced the "Tiger buzz" at his first Open at St Andrews three years ago (a tie for 49th), and in Dubai last year.

"We just need to keep grinding and keep on going, and hopefully add a Claret Jug and the other two majors as well, and hopefully win the career Grand Slam at some point".

But over time, he thinks it might be his best chance because of history.

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. A certain shot that is hit [and] you think is a wonderful shot down the middle of the fairway could bounce some weird way. That's just part of it and the fun challenge of it.

Carnoustie's fairways are expected to be faster than the greens this week

"The beauty of this golf course is that length isn't a necessity, which brings the whole field into it", Rose said.

"To have the opportunity to come back to play here in Scotland again, I've said this before throughout this year, it's been a blessing".

'We're supposed to see the same wind direction for the rest of the week and if you're someone like us who can fly it over 300 yards, you can basically take all the trouble out of play on a lot of the holes.

"Going to be a real interesting test in how we're going to manage our way around the golf course", he said.

Course strategy has been at the forefront of early Open week discussion.

"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.

The 42-year-old fancies his chances at the British Open. But he realizes at some point that his power will drop off.

"You get to places like Augusta (The Masters) where it is just a big ball park and the golf course outgrows you unfortunately". "That's just the way it goes".

"A key off the tees is how hot do you want the ball landing on the fairways as you can make the ball roll a further 60, 70 or 80-yards but the question whether it is worth it or not", he said.

Especially when you're 19 years old and trying to bounce a ball off a 100-meter sign with a 4-iron.

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