ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – An old friend has shown up on the Old Course.
A strong wind, the best defense in links golf, was largely missing the last two times the British Open came to St. Andrews, which explains how Tiger Woods won with a record score of 19-under 269 in 2000 and at 14-under 274 five years later.
Woods found the Old Course much different Sunday than he remembered. When his tee shot at No. 11 wound up on the seventh green, the strongest recorded gust was just under 80 kph.
Standing on the 18th tee, the wind now at his back as he waited to drive the 357-yard hole with a 3-wood, he was asked if he had ever played St. Andrews in such conditions.
“Nobody can play St. Andrews like this,” Woods said.
The British Open starts Thursday.