ST ANDREWS, Scotland (Reuters) - American phenomenon Jordan Spieth’s hopes of capturing a third successive major title will depend mainly on his ability to handle the subtle wind changes at St Andrews, Tiger Woods said on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old Spieth has played the Home of Golf on a simulator but is yet to complete a competitive round on the Fife links and Woods said he would quickly need to learn how to plot his way round at this week’s British Open.
“It’s about understanding how to play the golf course under various winds,” the 14-times major champion told reporters.
“Having to hit the different shots, shaping shots completely different from one day to the next on the same hole, it does help seeing the golf course under different winds.”
Woods smiled when he recalled the unique conditions that prevailed at St Andrews for a team competition played much later in the year two decades ago.
“I played the Dunhill Cup here in 1998, seeing the greens frozen, we had to go back out there and play,” said the former world number one, “that was interesting”.
Spieth’s course strategy was outstanding when he won the U.S. Open last month and the U.S. Masters in April and Woods has no doubt his fellow countryman will fare well again if he maintains those high standards.
”Obviously, he’s in great form,“ said the triple British Open champion. ”It’s just a matter of going out there and executing his game plan.
”That’s what he talks about a lot, formulating a game plan and executing it, and this is a course in which you have to do that.
“You also have to be a very good lag putter because a good shot sometimes is going to be 40, 50, 60, 70 feet away and you just can’t get it close,” Woods added.
“The wind is blowing too hard. To be able to lag those putts stone dead is key.”
Editing by Ed Osmond