16 Jul 2018

The Open preview: Carnoustie critique and player stats

The historic Carnoustie Golf Links will open its doors to the world’s finest golfers when the 147th Open Championship kicks off on the 19th July in Angus, Scotland.

Carnoustie’s Calling

The historic Carnoustie Golf Links will open its doors to the world’s finest golfers when the 147th Open Championship kicks off on the 19th July in Angus, Scotland. This will be the eighth time Carnousite has hosted the oldest Major with the iconic venue witnessing a plethora of golfing superstars lift the Claret Jug since the tournament was first hosted there in 1931 including Gary Player, Tom Watson and Padraig Harrington. We take a look back at some of the most memorable quotes from those who have taken on the mighty Scottish links over the years.


“If there is a tougher hole in golf, then I have yet to play it.” 

Worldwide Golf columnist David Howell shares his views on the treacherous 18th hole which features the punishing Barry Burn as well as the fairway bunkers to the right and the howling wind from the North Sea.

“The set-up was extremely tough, the conditions were horrendous, it was so windy. All you could hear were the biggest names in golf saying how difficult the course was.”

Jean van de Velde speaking ahead of his final round in 1999. The Frenchman infamously blew a three-shot lead when he hit his 2-iron approach into Barry Burn at the 18th which led to a triple-bogey.

“Carnoustie is definitely one of the toughest courses I have played.”

Gary Player mastered Carnoustie back in 1968. The South African claimed his second Claret Jug with a two-stroke triumph over former champions Jack Nicklaus and Bob Charles in the 97th Open Championship.

“It’s probably the most difficult closing hole in Major championship golf and probably in world golf.” 

Two-time Open Championship winner Padraig Harrington. The Irishman won his maiden Major Championship at Carnoustie back in 2007 after coming from six strokes back to defeat Sergio Garcia in a play-off.

“They thought they could come here and rip it apart. Who the hell do they think they are?” 

Carnoustie course superintendent John Philp let the golfing world know his feelings after Paul Lawrie came through a play-off to win the 1999 Open Championship with a score of six-over-par.

“Carnoustie is one of those courses where the bunkers are in play and you have to challenge them. If you play short and safe you’re too far away to be very effective in getting the ball close to the hole.”

Tom Watson reflects on the course at which he won on his Open Championship debut with a play-off victory over Jack Newton. It was the start of a success story for the American as he went on to win seven more Majors including four Open Championships.

“When the wind is blowing, it is the toughest golf course in Britain. And when it’s not blowing, it’s probably still the toughest.” 

World Golf Hall of Fame member Sir Michael Bonallack believes it is one the toughest courses in the land.

“I just love Carnoustie. It’s so tough. This one is by far the hardest of all the courses on the Open rota.” 

Three-time Open Championship victor Tiger Woods. The American will be making his first appearance in The Open since missing the cut at St Andrews in 2015.


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