Tiger Woods has declared parts of the Royal Lytham and St Annes rough ‘unplayable’ ahead of this week’s Open Championship.
The 8/1 favourite played his first practice round at the Scottish links on Sunday and only came off after five hours of plotting his way around the brutal course.
Speaking afterwards, he said: “Oh my God. It’s just that you can’t get out of the rough.
“The bottom six inches is so lush. The wispy stuff, we’ve always faced that at every Open.
“But that bottom six inches, in some places it’s almost unplayable.”
With high winds and rain forecast for the rest of the week – as well as the fearsomely thick rough – everything points to this being one of the highest scoring Open’s in recent years – and that could play right into the hands of the British contingent.
The last three times the winning score at an Open has been over-par, a British golfer has come away with the Claret Jug.
Sandy Lyle won at Royal St George’s with a score of two-over in 1985, Paul Lawrie was victorious at Carnoustie in 1999 after making the play-off with a score of six-over, while Padraig Harrington picked up his second Open title in 2008 with a final score of three-over at Royal Birkdale.
Of course, you shouldn’t rule out Woods to end his major drought – especially considering how excellent he was for much of this year’s US Open on an equally demanding course – but it does look promising for the British contingent.
Lee Westwood is second favourite for the title at 14/1, while Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald can both be backed at 16/1.
However, if you like your odds a little longer, then Scotland’s Martin Laird is out at a pretty meaty 66/1. He’s had a very decent season, finishing second in the Players’ Championship and produced another top 20 finish in the Scottish Open at the weekend.