TIGER Woods, the world’s most high-profile golfer, took a first look at the course for this week’s Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes and didn’t like what he saw, claiming parts of the lay-out were ‘unplayable’.
Woods exclaimed: “That rough –oh my God! It’s just that you cannot get out of it. The bottom six inches is so lush. The wispy stuff – we’ve always faced that at every Open.
“But the bottom six inches in some places is almost unplayable.”
Reigning champion Darren Clarke, who performed the opening ceremony at yesterday’s World Junior Open at Fairhaven, was far more upbeat.
He said: “It’s a fantastic course in perfect condition. It’s narrow and the rough is very penal and deep.”
“The wind will blow in the same direction for most of the week and scores have to be made on the back nine, so it’s a case of protecting your score on the front nine.”
Rory McIlroy, one of the main British hopes, said he would by-pass the Blackpool area’s many tourist attractions and put tunnel-vision focus on his preparations.
He said: “I’m going to try to embrace everything that goes with The Open — the quirky bounces, the way the weather can dictate scoring.
“I’m staying at a nice place about a mile from the course, and apart from playing and practising I’ll hardly step outside the door all week.”
He will not be supported at Lytham by his girl-friend Caroline Wozniacki, the former world tennis number one, who is preparing for the Olympics.
“Caroline’s not here — we celebrated her birthday together last week.
“It’s going to be a huge couple of weeks for us — it would be great if we both had something to celebrate when we get back together.”