After a superb first spherical on the 2021 Open, Jordan Spieth was relishing the possibility he has to check himself on the Royal St George’s course in Kent, UK.
However, different golfers are much less satisfied by the delights of enjoying golf by the ocean.
“It’s not my favorite venue that we’ve played. There are quite a few blind tee shots, hitting to nothing, fairways that are quite undulating,” mentioned four-time main winner Brooks Koepka in his pre-tournament press convention.
Links golf is a harsh, distinctive model of course which might punish you for the slightest mistake, however a bit like that ice cream by the ocean, once you recreation comes collectively and also you get issues proper, life simply appears to style that little bit sweeter.
Often constructed on sand dunes, hyperlinks programs are likely to have little vegetation besides tall, thick grass which makes up an unforgiving tough for gamers.
Between the lengthy, dense tough and the robust sea wind, essentially the most minute mistake can result in calamity, with numerous gamers’ event hopes coming to a crashing finish over time.
PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson thought he “was playing well coming into” this 12 months’s Open having solely lately turn into golf’s oldest ever main winner.
However, in Thursday’s opening spherical, the 50-year-old Mickelson completed in joint final place of the 156-man discipline after taking pictures a 10-over-par 80.
Despite carding arespectable two-over par rating on Friday, Mickelson struggled constantly along with his driving, continually having to play out of the thick tough. He missed the reduce on Friday and was due to this fact dominated out of enjoying the Open’s final two rounds.
The six-time main winner admitted after his spherical on Friday that he was having some “challenges staying sharp.”
The “bomb and gauge” method tailored by fellow American, Bryson DeChambeau — one which has introduced him his maiden main victory and shot him up the golf rankings — was additionally challenged by Royal St George’s.
The 26-year-old DeChambeau admitted his driver “sucked” on Thursday and his waywardness with the membership meant he solely made the reduce by the pores and skin of his tooth, and his struggles continued on Saturday.
The Open’s leaders after the primary two rounds — Louis Oosthuizen, Collin Morikawa and Jordan Spieth — have used their abilities with their irons somewhat than counting on their drivers and it has paid dividends.
All three gamers have revamped 77% of the greens over the primary 36-holes of the event as they mitigated the risks and traps of the hyperlinks course.
With an Open already to his identify, Spieth seems to be seems to be like a child excitedly queuing for an ice cream as he showcases some completely different abilities right here within the UK than he may on the PGA Tour.
“It brings rather a lot of the texture side into the sport,” he instructed the media after his first spherical. “I shorten swings up over here, and hit more punch shots, and stuff that I probably should be doing at home. You get less swing-focused and more shot-focused over here because the second you take your brain off the shot you are hitting, chances are you’ll not discover your ball.
“Instead of just a driving-range shot in Palm Springs, there’s always some shot you have to play that gives you a little bit of an advantage. Certain club selections, based on if you hit a fade or a draw, they go 15 or 20 yards different distances. To sum that up, there’s just a lot of external factors over here, and I think that external is where I need to be living.”
The second-round heroics of Morikawa — searching for to turn into the primary man to win each the PGA Championship and the Open on his debut — was totally on the again of his wizardry along with his irons; his dead-eye accuracy negating the pure issues the hyperlinks course offers up.
It’s but to be seen whether or not Spieth or Morikawa can overcome the lead Oosthuizen held firstly of Saturday, however all three males are testomony that to overcome a hyperlinks golf course, a golfer must have all of the instruments within the instrument bag.
The query now could be who will probably be celebrating with the Claret Jug — the Open trophy — and who know possibly even a gelato come Sunday?