Golf’s most treasured artefact is exclusive. 600 years on from when it was first performed, it’s nonetheless the favoured place for one hundred and fiftieth model of the best championship within the sport.
However it’s additionally probably the most performed and most recognized golf course on earth. It might nonetheless mystify the uninitiated – significantly those that habitually play the sport via the air somewhat than on the bottom – however there are far fewer surprises for the highest gamers than there as soon as had been.
The mythic thriller of the Outdated Course at St Andrews isn’t any extra.
There is a bit more scope for shock this 12 months. Not many have performed it in as agency, fierce and fiery a situation as will probably be this week. There are only a few survivors from the equally quick situations of 2000 and 2005, when Tiger Woods gained each instances.
Woods, nonetheless ailing, gained’t win this week, certainly. However right here’s 5 who I believe might…
It’s wonderful to suppose that Rory is taking part in solely his second Open at St Andrews. He was a short-odds favorite in 2015 to retain the Claret Jug earlier than probably the most notorious sport of five-a-sides in recorded historical past.
The time earlier than that, in 2010, he began with a 63 and adopted with an 80. But he nonetheless ultimately completed third, eight behind Louis Oosthuizen. A 72 in that second spherical would have made issues very attention-grabbing.
McIlroy has loads of Outdated Course nous, and is taking part in in addition to he has since his annus mirabilis of 2014. Whereas the one caveat is he’s not the best wind participant there may be, this seems to be nearly as good a future decide as you may get.
Spieth virtually gained as an Outdated Course virgin in 2015, one shot out of the three-way play-off after a go to to the Valley of Sin on 18. That was when he was going for the third leg of a Grand Slam.
Since then, there’s been his Claret Jug at Birkdale, and loads of scar tissue elsewhere. However his Open file is strong. In addition to his win, he was the final to tee off on the ultimate day in 2018, and was closest to Collin Morkawa final 12 months.
Actually, Spieth’s a sound every approach guess for any Open at any venue. He has the intelligence to constantly decide the appropriate choice of the various accessible in hyperlinks golf. And he’s probably the greatest lengthy putters within the sport, which is at all times a key requirement on the Outdated Course.
Choosing somebody for an Open at St Andrews on the idea of their file within the annual Alfred Dunhill Hyperlinks Championship is a dodgy enterprise. It’s a completely completely different place in late September – in July it’s at all times firmer underfoot, and there’s completely none of these pleasant pro-am pins.