The Open Notebook – Tiger, Tommy and all that Jazz
Carnoustie is now officially Open for business as the world’s best began to descend on this corner of eastern Scotland on Sunday to prepare for one of the most exciting weeks on the golfing calendar.
World Cup fever may have gripped the globe over the past month but Open fever is about to become a common diagnosis, with The 147th Open teeing off on Thursday morning.
There is plenty happening at the famous old Angus links every day between now and next Sunday, when the latest Champion Golfer of the Year will be crowned, and we’ll keep you abreast of it all.
That includes the funny, quirky or offbeat stories that Carnoustie provides in our daily Open Notebook – starting with the first edition right now.
Tiger roars into Scotland once again
Scotland has always been a happy hunting ground for Tiger Woods – indeed the first two times he lifted the Claret Jug, in 2000 and 2005, were at St Andrew’s.
On Saturday he was watching his friend Serena Williams lose in the ladies’ singles final at Wimbledon but on Sunday he was back in Scotland – hitting the range at Carnoustie and playing a practice round – being followed by a bigger crowd than any other player, all desperate to see the great man in action.
Fourteen majors under his belt, a three-time Champion Golfer of the Year, 22 years as a professional and no-one has ever been able to draw a crowd quite like Tiger. His swing was looking as smooth as ever in Angus...
Woods is now 42 years old and playing in his first Open since 2015 but he’ll be among the favourites – with the bookies and the crowd – this week.
Even his fellow professionals – including world No.1743 James Robinson, who came through Final Qualifying at St Annes to reach Carnoustie – made sure to snap a picture alongside the American.
Woods will be back on site on Monday and is slated to play a practice round alongside world No.2 Justin Thomas – a pairing sure to draw even larger crowds than the hundreds following him today.
World Cup reaches fever pitch
World-class football and world-class golf – what better combination could there be?
The Spectator Village at Carnoustie is a one-stop hub for fans at the course this week, with everything from food and drink outlets, to golf challenges and The Open Shop to ensure you look the part.
There are also big screens in The Village and, at 4pm, spectators could keep an eye on the World Cup final – where France bested England’s conquerors Croatia 4-2 in an highly entertaining showpiece.
Whether Les Bleus’ victory on the pitch translates to success on the course for Alex Levy – the only Frenchman competing in this year’s Open – remains to be seen but Levy will surely enjoy some pre-tournament celebrations this evening.
The destination of the Jules Rimet Trophy has been decided but the world’s attention will now turn to seeing which golfer can get their hands on the Claret Jug on Sunday.
Tommy is the Daddy
Tommy Fleetwood is a man who knows how to find success at Carnoustie – after all, he does hold the course record following a scintillating nine-under par 63 during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last October.
He was reacquainting himself with the Angus links on Sunday, including a quick 18 alongside fiery Spaniard – and world No.5 – Jon Rahm.
But the day wasn’t done there for Fleetwood, as The Open’s digital team presented the 27-year-old with a gift for his son Franklin, who was born shortly before the charismatic Englishman shot his Carnoustie course record in late 2017.
Fleetwood’s caddy Ian Finnis has also recently had a child and Winter Olympic curling medallist Eve Muirhead – who will be contributing to The Open’s social media coverage all week at Carnoustie – was on hand to give the duo their gifts.
And all that Jazz
And finally – for one golfer teeing it up at Carnoustie this week, everything has come full circle.
While in Scotland, Thai player Jazz Janewattananond – who earned his place at The Open by finishing fourth in January’s SMBC Singapore Open – has gone back to his roots.
Eleven years ago, the young golf starlet visited St Andrews with his Dad and has now recreated the picture he took at The Home of Golf before heading to Carnoustie.
You haven’t changed a bit, Jazz!