What’s happening where
Nothing stirs the blood more among golf aficionados than an Open Championship played on the Old Course at St Andrews in Fife, Scotland — the ‘Home of Golf’.
That’s what is coming up in July when the in-form Rory McIlroy will set out to retain the title he won at the Royal Liverpool course at Hoylake last year (in the process winning his father a fortune, dad having wagered £200 on young Rory at 50 to 1 to claim the title almost a decade earlier).
McIlroy will be at cramped odds to repeat the feat, after demolishing the world’s best golfers in the Cadillac Matchplay Championship in San Francisco, then winning the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte by seven strokes.
He’s proven on links courses, he’s consistently driving the ball almost 300 metres off the tee and his confidence levels must be at an all-time high.
St Andrews is a course where the cream invariably rises to the surface. If you doubt that, just look at the iconic names that feature among the post-war winners of the Claret Jug on this course: 2010 Louis Oosthuizen, 2005 Tiger Woods, 2000 Tiger Woods, 1995 John Daly, 1990 Nick Faldo, 1984 Seve Ballesteros, 1978 Jack Nicklaus, 1970 Jack Nicklaus, 1964 Tony Lema, 1960 Kel Nagle, 1957 Bobby Locke, 1955 Peter Thomson, 1946 Sam Snead.
Scotland’s summer climate can be fickle. The sun should be shining on St Andrews in mid-July, but if the winds get up, hold your hat and watch the scores implode.