McGinley doesn't rate Spieth's Open chances

Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:08pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

GULLANE, Scotland (Reuters) - Europe's 2014 Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley does not fancy Jordan Spieth's chances of being the first golfer since American Ben Hogan in 1953 to land the first three majors of the season.

The 48-year-old Irishman believes St Andrews, venue of next week's British Open, will favor the long drivers rather than someone like Spieth whose game is built around a silky putting stroke.

"The odds are against Jordan next week," McGinley told Reuters in an interview at the Scottish Open. "I wouldn't be backing him.

"If the course plays to it's prevailing wind, which is in off the left on the holes on the way out, it's very advantageous to hit the ball a long way.

"Holes like the par-five fifth, going into that green with a five or six-iron compared to a three-wood is a massive advantage to the big hitters, particularly when the pin is at the front," said McGinley.

"The par-four ninth is also drivable to the big-hitters, 10 is drivable, 12 is drivable, 14 gets wider the further you hit it, and 18 is drivable too. Jordan not being one of the big hitters means it's going to put even more focus on his putting."

McGinley, who led Europe to Ryder Cup victory in Scotland in September, said the Old Course had changed a lot down the years.

"I think it's going to be a leaderboard dominated by big hitters, I feel that very strongly," he said.   Continued...

Paul McGinley (R) and Ian Poulterare pictured at the Ballantine's Golf Club Captaincy unveiling at Gullane Golf Club where Paul McGinley took over from Ian Poulter as the new Captain in this undated handout image. Ballantine's Golf Club/HANDOUT