SANDWICH, England – Gary Woodland, who is making his first Open Championship start and playing just his second true links course, was asked how he prepared for Saturday’s bitter weather. A few feet away his swing coach Randy Smith smiled, “It’s easy, just get a handful of beta-blockers . . .”
Smith, who was joking, did have a hand in the young American’s third round, an eventful card that featured three birdies, four bogeys and an unsightly triple bogey-8 at the 14th hole.
On the practice tee early Saturday Smith noticed Woodland wasn’t as upright over the ball as he normally is, a key that lifted him to a 2-under 33 on the front nine. As the rain began to blow sideways, however, Woodland’s round unraveled.
“He was doing fine holding onto the club until (No. 14),” Smith said. “It just started coming out of his hand.”
Despite his late struggles, Wooodland posted the day’s best round (74) so far. “Probably the toughest day of golf I’ve ever played in,” he said.