THE THIRD ROUND of the Open at St Andrews is underway after high winds caused havoc on Saturday.
ST ANDREWS (Scotland) • Graeme McDowell believes the St Andrews Old Course might need some tweaks to protect it against the modern-day big hitters after a third-round birdie feast at the British Open yesterday.
But afterwards, he said: “A lot of the bunkers are not in play any more, when you see the type of power that these guys are kind of using and putting on the golf ball”.
His round on Sunday included eight birdies, but McDowell also threw in a pair of bogeys and two doubles, showing the course does at least, at times, have some teeth.
He has been through the worst of it and is coming out the other side, just not quite far enough to make an impact on this championship.
Due to the course’s proximity to St Andrews town centre and the North Sea, there is little room to expand but McDowell does not think making holes longer is necessarily the answer.
“I don’t think you’ve got to go put a ton of yardage on this golf course. Apart from half a dozen loose drives over the last three days, you know, tee to green, my ball-striking has been really, really good, and I’m pretty happy with that”.
“It doesn’t need a complete re-jig”. “I played lovely, but I drove the ball disgusting”.
The Portrush man began well with four birdies in his first five holes, but a double bogey followed at the sixth.
If there was a time when McDowell had sought to add extra yardage onto his drives, he now accepts he must work with what he has got.
“I putted terribly Thursday, Friday, and actually made some putts today and got off to a nice start”.
“I’m not really quite sure what’s wrong with my driving, everything else is pretty good”.
‘Obviously I knew I was in a good position but I didn’t care where I was at on the leaderboard, ‘ said Pepperell.
“Just disappointing to not get the job done”. “My time will come”.
2011 Open champion Darren Clarke missed the cut after a round of 73 left him on two over.
However, Padraig Harrington got off to a blistering start on Sunday and raced up the leaderboard.
But the Masters and United States Open champion was set to face a large number of challengers in Monday’s delayed final round, including 22-year-old Irish amateur Paul Dunne, who was mistaken for Spieth by autograph-seeking fans this week.
However, his Silver Medal rival, Jordan Niebrugge has overtaken him.