HOYLAKE, England – Two men with the most eyeballs on them this week believe Royal Liverpool will play drastically different than it did for the British Open in 2006. One of those men won the claret jug that year, the other was only 17 years old and on vacation in Spain.
Tiger Woods, the 2006 Open champion, hit only one driver that year in fast, firm, crispy conditions. He poked a long iron off the tee ad nauseam and ultimately won his third jug. He knows that it’ll take a much different approach this year to be competitive.
“Overall the golf course is a little bit softer than what it was in ’06,” Woods said Tuesday at Royal Liverpool. “I’ve played three practice rounds now and have had three different winds. So that’s been helpful to be able to see the golf course in different conditions.”
Video: McIlroy on aggressive approach to Royal Liverpool (Click here for full interview)
Rory McIlroy was the aforementioned 17-year-old at the time but he remembers vividly watching Woods defeat Chris DiMarco down the stretch. He believes the winner will have to use a different game plan than Woods did eight years ago.
“I don’t think it’s going to be an option to hit iron off every tee box,” McIlroy said. “I think you’re going to have to be slightly aggressive off the tee, and take some things on … just because it’s not as firm as it was back in ’06.”