Lost clubs? Oh well, how about a pre-Open round with Tiger

The notorious course is one of the very toughest to host The Open, all the more so when the wind blows in off the North Sea. Weather conditions are typically the reason. But a links-style golf course, you can roll the ball. "I just need to play some cleaner golf and who knows?" The idea was to jolt him out of a putting slump, but he also made the switch with an eye on The Open. His next two trips to Carnoustie were a little more productive - a T-7 at the 1999 Open and a T-12 in 2007.

"It sounds bad, but it feels a bit more like another tournament rather than something else which is a good place to be". And it is a little bit hotter.

"Tiger is responsible for all these guys playing for a million dollars every week", Player told reporters on the eve of the championship.

How far the ball travels in the warm, dry air is not the issue.

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"There are a few less gorse bushes too that they have taken out on some holes so you can be aggressive if you want to". Had he hit a driver, he would have risked the ball rolling into the water (known as the Barry Burn) that fronts the green. The more I can get into that mindset, the better I'll play golf'. As he stood on the range for the first time that week, he saw a 100-meter sign ... and took dead aim.

"Yesterday I went and checked with Tiger and I met "Rosey" in Indonesia previous year so I just asked him if I could get a practice round".

Perhaps that strategy will work well for Woods, who famously won the 2006 Open at a burned-out and baked Royal Liverpool.

"But you're just wanting to get it low and get it running".

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Fifty years since he won the second of his three Open titles, Gary Player returned to Carnoustie with a warning to the sport and an urge to see Tiger Woods end his 10-year major drought.

England's Tommy Fleetwood get a feel for one of Carnoustie's infamous bunkers in the leadup to the Open Championship. If I can play with the same young abandon that I did back then that would be nice. I've put myself up there in contention a couple times.

Woods was a quick study that week, entering the final round in a tie for 12th before fading with a 78 that left him tied for 48th. He has three top-5 finishes and five in the top 12 but has finished within 5 strokes of the victor just once - his runner-up finish to Paul Casey at the Valspar Championship. He is playing the first two rounds with Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

Fox has a long wait until his 3.32pm tee time (2.32am Friday NZT), 11 minutes after Woods lets fly alongside Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

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