Townsend understands Ben Crane’s position as the first alternate because he was the first alternate in the 1993 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s. During those years, Mark McNulty always seemed to be injured around the time of the Open Championship so alternates would always ask how he was feeling that week. McNulty did not withdraw in 1993 and Townsend did not get in but he thinks that Crane is doing the right thing by going over to England even though he is currently not in the field.
He spoke with World #1 Luke Donald today and he seems very relaxed. During his first round, he got on a bit of a roll which was ultimately stopped but he seemed to be feeling very good. Winning his first Major is obviously on Donald’s mind right now and it is very important to him that he gets off to a good start. He also thinks that he gets in his own way too often.
People come over to the United Kingdom early to get acclimated to the golf, the weather, and the time change (but not the food!). It is always a good thing to get as comfortable with as many things as possible before The Open Championship and he is a bit surprised that more Americans are not following the lead of others like Phil Mickelson and travelling to the UK early whether they are playing in the Scottish Open or not.
Phil Mickelson was a late entry into the Scottish Open and while Townsend does not think that Phil needs a high finish this week, he does think that Phil needs some confidence and he can get that confidence by making some putts. He is playing in the afternoon in the first round and the course is supposed to play easier in the afternoon than it did in the morning so this could be a good chance to gain some confidence.