For only the sixth time in 600 years of history a new golf course opened at St Andrews Links, the Home of Golf, today.
The Castle Course was opened by the Duke of York at a special ceremony attended by around 150 leading figures from the world of golf and from golf clubs and organizations in St Andrews.
Continuing a line which began when the first track was cut through the gorse to create what became the Old Course, The Castle Course is the seventh course run by St Andrews Links Trust and the first championship-length 18-hole golf course to open at the Links for more than 100 years.
The Duke of York, a former captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, unveiled a commemorative plaque at the first tee of The Castle Course and declared the course officially open for play.
The first tee shot was struck by Edwin Burtnett, from Tampa, Florida, who won the worldwide competition to name the course which was held in November 2006. Edwin was one of 12 people out of more than 4000 entries to suggest The Castle Course. He and his wife Tiffany were invited to the opening ceremony as guests of honour.
Stuart Maxwell, the Scottish Minister for Communities and Sport, attended the ceremony as did the Lord Lieutenant for Fife Margaret Dean and Provost of Fife and St Andrews Links Trustee Frances Melville.
The Duke of York was given a short tour of the course by designer David McLay Kidd and later attended a reception in The Castle Course Clubhouse.
St Andrews Links Trust chairman Alastair Dempster said, We are honoured to have The Duke of York conduct the official opening of The Castle Course. This is a historic occasion not just for golf in St Andrews but for Scotland as a whole. It is the most substantial project undertaken by the Links Trust and we are very pleased with the outcome. We believe The Castle Course will be an excellent addition to the Scottish golf scene and will attract golfers from near and far for many years to come.
General Manager Alan McGregor said, The brief for The Castle Course was to design an enjoyable and challenging course which would make the most of the splendid location here on the cliff tops overlooking St Andrews. I think David and his co-designer Paul Kimber have achieved that goal. The course boasts some wonderful holes which offer views out over the ancient town of St Andrews, out to the North Sea and to the Angus coast and the Grampian mountains in the distance. The Castle Course will provide a different test of golf to the other courses in St Andrews. We hope it will encourage visiting golfers to spend longer in town as well as offering something new to local golfers.
Edwin came up with the name after reading about Kinkell Castle which occupied part of the site, near the current location of the clubhouse, in the late Middle Ages. The course logo is adapted from a Scottish peers helmet which forms part of the Monnypenny family crest. The Monnypennys of Pitmillie owned the land in this period.
After hitting the first ceremonial drive, Edwin said, It was pretty nerve-wracking with so many people watching but it is a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life. I love golf and have been fascinated by St Andrews and the courses here since my first visit a few years ago. This is a wonderful golf course and I am very proud to have played a part in naming it.
The Castle Course sits on 220 acre site above Kinkell Braes to the south-east of St Andrews. The par 71 course has five tees on every hole which vary the length from 5460 to 6759 yards. The championship length is 7188 yards.
The clubhouse features a striking circular design and has a glass-fronted restaurant overlooking Kinkell Ness, the furthest outcrop of the cliffs. The building has a geothermal heating and cooling system which generates energy from the earth using 150m deep boreholes and heat pumps. The installation of the system received support from the Scottish Communities and Households Renewables Initiative (SCHRI) which is funded by the Scottish Executive through the Energy Saving Trust.
The Castle Course is open for public play and its first season runs until 31 October. Next year it will open from April to October. Tee times can be booked online at www.standrews.org.uk or by contacting the Reservations department on 001334 466666 or emailing email@example.com.
St Andrews Links Trust
St Andrews unveils first new course in 100 years
Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba
Conor Moore is known for his impressions of golfers, and he is back with a new video just in time for The Open.
Moore even got the thumbs up from Ian Poulter.
This is hilarious..— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) July 16, 2018
Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite
Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.
Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.
Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.
Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:
12/1: Dustin Johnson
16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose
20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm
25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods
30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed
40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton
50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick
60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson
80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele
100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen
Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC
If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.
Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.
Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.
There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.
There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.
Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.
John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.
Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.
Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.
Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.
“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”
Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.
“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”
But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.
“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”