Spieth fears world’s best may overwhelm Old Course

We hear the same golfing fears each time golf’s oldest major heads to the famed Old Course at St. Andrews.

“The game’s best will murder the Old Course!”

Jordan Spieth Jordan Spieth won his last major at the 2017 Open Championship (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

More recently, there was concern a beefed-up Bryson DeChambeau would tear the 150th Open Championship venue apart but then came COVID and DeChambeau has since struggled with injury.

We recall Rory McIlroy bringing the Old Course to its knees with an opening 63 in the 2010 Open Championship, an effort that handed the-then full-season rookie pro a two-shot lead but the wind got up in the afternoon on day two and McIlroy’s hopes of victory blown off the course in shooting an 80, and with McIlroy nowhere to be seen across the weekend.

Now with the year’s final major less than a week away, former Open Champion Jordan Spieth has expressed his fears, with the 28-year-old Texan set to contest a 10th straight Open, and after just missing out in being in a play-off ahead of finishing in a share of fourth in 2015, when The Open was last held at St. Andrews.

Playing in the Scottish Open this week, Spieth was asked if the Old Course might be “too easy”, Spieth replied: “Yeah, I think it might be.”

“It’s hard for me to tell, given that in 2015 we had so much wind that we couldn’t even play. But I think if it’s like it was this morning out here [The Renaissance Club], it’s just a wedge contest, really.”

“It was not necessarily built for today’s technology but I think that even a nice 10 to 15 miles an hour wind would do something to it and the fact that it doesn’t look like we are going to get any rain, so I think the defence could be how fast it plays.”

Spieth, who has won three of the game’s four majors, added: “It could get like Muirfield was in 2013, and I think that regardless of wind conditions, that would change the golf course significantly and make it challenging to hold fairways and greens.”

The present World No. 12th ranked Spieth was commenting after posting a two-under-par 68 on day one of the Genesis Scottish Open. Spieth capped his first day’s play with five birdies in succession from the 13th hole that he was playing as his fourth in the historic $US 8m event co-sanctioned for the first time by the PGA and DP World Tours.