Opinions vary on learning to play the Old Course

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ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Much was made of Jordan Spieth’s decision to play last week’s John Deere Classic, which he won, with this week’s Open Championship looming and the chance to claim the third leg of the Grand Slam.

Spieth, who had only played the Old Course once prior to the 2011 Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen, said he’d familiarized himself with the ancient links by playing it virtually and he’s gotten in two days of practice this week at St. Andrews.

While some contend the Old Course eschews that type of fast-track learning, many of Spieth’s fellow players contend it’s not the complicated formula some make it out to be.

“Let’s be honest, a lot of Tour players know how to hit bump and runs, they know how to adjust. It doesn’t take long for them to get a feel for a 40-yard bump and run,” Kevin Na said on Tuesday at St. Andrews.

John Daly won the Open in 1995 in his first trip to St. Andrews, as did Tony Lema in 1964.