LYLE SEES A TIGER HAT-TRICK
Former Open winner Sandy Lyle will not be surprised if Tiger Woods wins the championship.
Former Open winner Sandy Lyle will not be surprised if Tiger Woods wins the championship for the third time in a row at Carnoustie this week.
Woods, 31, is aiming to become only the second modern-day golfer to win the tournament in three successive years, following in the footsteps of Peter Thomson who achieved the feat between 1955 and 1957.
Lyle, who captured the famous old trophy in 1985 at Sandwich, told PA Sport: “For someone who has never really grown up on a links course, Tiger’s ability to play links courses has never failed to amaze me.
” His course management is so good. He generally comes over earlier and plays the Irish courses like Tom Watson used to do and he adapts very quickly to links and his record proves that.
“I always thought it was possible (that someone could win the Open three times in a row).
“When you get someone like a Tiger or a Tom Watson, when he was playing well, they just seem to perform so well when they play in the Open Championship, even though they play on a different course every year.
“If you had asked me if an individual could win a major by so many shots, I would say you were pulling my leg.
“But when Tiger is winning the Masters by, I think, 12 shots and the US Open by 15, that is more of an unbelievable record than winning the Open three years in a row.”
The course was criticised in 1999 for its toughness but after stepping off the 18th tee at Carnoustie following his second practise round of the week, Lyle remarked upon the improvements made for this year’s competition.
He said: “The course is very good, playing very fair and everything that was said about the course eight years ago has been taken to heart and it has been sorted out.
“It is long in places and there is a run on the fairways but the greens are very good.
“It will be a test but it is an open competition and the course could suit a number of players.
“It brings a lot more players in to the game rather than it being so tight that you are down to a handful of potential winners.
“The wind will be a factor but there will be a lot of big-hitters out here who hit the ball a million miles with no nerves so we will see.
“But in general, course conditions are as good as you can get.”
Rory McIlroy on top but not getting ahead of himself at US PGA Championship
The Northern Irishman carded seven birdies and two bogeys in an opening 65 to record his lowest round in a major since the 2011 US Open.
UPS delivers a sponsorship setback to Lee Westwood
The company has ended its deal in an apparent response to Westwood’s involvement with a series of Saudi-backed events.
Tyrell Hatton shares slow play fears as US PGA begins at Southern Hills
This week’s course layout in Tulsa looks set to exacerbate the issue.
‘Recharged’ Shane Lowry excited for week ahead at US PGA Championship
Lowry has finished no worse than 35th in his nine starts this season.
Jordan Spieth relishing playing alongside Tiger Woods in career grand slam bid
Spieth has had five attempts to complete the grand slam since adding the 2017 Open title to the Masters and US Open he won in 2015.
‘He has his opinion, I have mine’ – Tiger Woods on Phil Mickelson controversy
Woods said Mickelson’s comments about the PGA Tour have been “polarising”.
Rory McIlroy hoping relaxed approach pays dividends at US PGA Championship
McIlroy did his research via videos posted online before travelling to Oklahoma on Monday.
Tiger Woods believes he can scale another mountain and win US PGA Championship
The 46-year-old finished 47th in the year’s first major, his first top-level event since suffering severe leg injuries.
Rory McIlroy was pretty sure Saudi-backed breakaway would not happen
The Northern Irishman is waiting to see how it plays out.
Graeme Storm recalls ‘surreal’ US PGA adventure after battle with Rory McIlroy
His famous victory over McIlroy came on the third extra hole in the 2017 South African Open in Johannesburg