We spoke to a selection of players to discuss the condition of the Old Course ahead of the 144th Open Championship at St Andrews
Video: players on Old Course conditions
Heavy pre-tournament rain means the course is playing softer than usual – a contrast to the brown scorched fairways and burnt-out greens we normally see during the third Major of the year.
But what does that mean? Well, players will be able to take on more pins and adopt a more aggressive approach – something that should yield more birdies than usual.
If the wind fails to blow, the course has a lack of stringent natural defences, particularly with modern technlology taking some bunkers out of play.
There have been suggestions that the all-time Major record score could be beaten this week, provided the wind stays away.
The course is soft, the rough isn’t particularly high and the greens are more receptive than usual, so it’s certainly not out of the question.
We caught up with Henrik Stenson, Branden Grace, Matteo Manassero, Pablo Larrazabal and Danny Willett at Callaway’s traditional Monay night pre-Open party to discuss the condition of the Old Course ahead of the 144th Open Championship.
Stenson, one of the favourites this week, believes 18-under-par will be the winning score, while others emphasised the importance of being aggressive in order to make plenty of birdies.
“The wind is the only protection this course has. If it doesn’t come up, the guys are really going to shoot low. There’s a lot of birdies to be had out there,” said Branden Grace – a sentiment echoed by Thomas Bjorn:
“It’s probably a bit slower that what they wanted but the Old Course is in beautiful condition – the best I’ve seen it in all the years I’ve been coming here. If there’s no wind there will be low scores.”