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The Open 2018 diary: Is that Tiger Woods? Harrington feels the Burn...

16 July 2018 19:30

For the first time in 11 years, The Open has returned to Carnoustie as the world's best fight it out be named Champion Golfer for 2018.

There are still three days to go until veteran Sandy Lyle plays the first official shot of this year's tournament.

But plenty is happening around one of the world's most feared courses, with the big guns in town practising for the third major of the year.

Here are some of the things you may have missed via our daily diary.


"IS THAT TIGER WOODS, DAD?"

"Yes son, yes it is."

At this point we should add that was not one of our own contingent of reporters talking to their child, merely an overheard conversation during Monday's practice at Carnoustie…

It may be 10 years since Tiger Woods won the last of his 14 major titles, and 12 since his third Open, but the mere sight of the American great still brings wide-eyed excitement to golf fans like the young man witnessing one of the game's greats.

Incidentally, Woods nailed two irons straight down the middle at the 17th and was smiling and joking alongside Justin Thomas…an ominous sign perhaps?


DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC?

You could be forgiven for thinking it but, no, that's not David Blaine or Harry Potter performing magic for the crowds.

It is, though, a really cool piece of skill from Jazz Janewattananond – who somehow manages to stab at the ball as if playing a pitch shot before coolly lofting the ball on the face of his club.

I mean, alright, during actual play that's probably a penalty stroke but it's good to see the 22-year-old Thai nice and relaxed before his Open debut.


JUG CEREMONY SADDENS SPIETH

The Claret Jug is the most iconic trophy in golf and has been in the ownership of Jordan Spieth now for the past 12 months.

So, when it came to handing back his prized possession at a ceremony on Monday there was plenty of sorrow…

"Yeah it wasn't an enjoyable experience you guys had me do there!" he said. "But it's done and hopefully only out of my possession for a week.

"It did really hit me, I thought someone would meet me in the parking lot I'd give it back and move on."


HARRINGTON HAS PREVIOUS WITH BARRY BURN

It has been 11 years (how?!) since Padraig Harrington defeated Sergio Garcia in a dramatic play-off to win The Open at Carnoustie.

On that occasion, the Irishman had seemingly blown his chances after finding Carnoustie's infamous Barry Burn twice on the last hole of regulation time.

But seemingly his history with the hazard goes back even further as he explained: "I lost the British Amateur here in the last 16 back in 1992, I think. '91 or '92. I doubled the last two holes to lose by one hole. So, I've got history with this golf course, and certainly the Barry Burn, it's all about 17 and 18.

"Clearly, it's strange having played it in 2007. The tee shot on 18 was so difficult. And yet yesterday I played, I hit 4 iron wedge into 18, and it would have been nice, it would have been easy if it was like that."


THE GHOST OF RYDER CUP FUTURE?

If it's true that the early bird does indeed catch the worm, then Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm would have been spoilt for choice.

The duo were out practicing together from 7am local time and drew a typically decent following from the patrons on course.

Who knows, perhaps this a glimpse into the future with the Ryder Cup just over two months away…

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17 August 2018

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