July 8 (Reuters) – Jordan Spieth says the 150th British Open at St Andrews could be reduced to a “wedge contest” unless the wind offers the Old Course some protection.
Spieth, who won the British Open at Royal Birkdale in 2017 and just missed out on a play-off at St Andrews in 2015, carded a 68 in the first round of the Scottish Open on Thursday in calm conditions that helped Cameron Tringale fire a nine-under 61.
Asked if the St Andrews layout might become defenceless in similar conditions, Spieth said, “Yeah, I think it might be.
“It’s hard for me to tell given 2015 we had so much wind that we couldn’t even play. But I think if it’s like it was this morning out here, it’s just a wedge contest, really.
“It was not necessarily built for today’s technology. But I think that even a nice 10-15 mph (wind) would show something to it. It doesn’t look like we are going to get any rain, so I think the defence could be how fast it plays.”
Spieth added that conditions could become similar to the 2013 edition in Muirfield, when the first two days were played in baking temperatures and players found it almost impossible to stop the ball on the greens.
“It could get like Muirfield was in 2013 and I think that regardless of wind conditions, that would change the golf course significantly and make it challenging to hold fairways and greens,” the three-times major winner said.
The British Open will be played from July 14-17 and is expected to draw a record attendance of 290,000. It will be the 30th time that golf’s oldest major has been held over the Old Course.