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    40 Open observations … and St. Andrews ideas from a Scottish LPGA professional

    Cam Smith on Sunday after his win on the Open Championship.

    Getty Photos

    THINKING OF THE JIGGER INN AND COUNTING DOWN TO THE MASTERS, Earth — It’s the Residence of Golf, and that’s not simply fancy promoting. 

    What per week. That was some enjoyable, wasn’t it? Even though, after Cam Smith raised his latest pint glass on Sunday, main season is over, and the thought that the 262 days to the beginning of the subsequent one are as unsure as a St. Andrews climate forecast, the previous seven days on the Open Championship felt nearly like … a golf hug, proper? Watching it wherever you probably did, you have been … heat and comfy. Like going dwelling. 

    So I emailed Gemma Dryburgh. She’s an LPGA professional whom I had Zoom beers with again in February. However much more germane to this story, she’s from Scotland, Aberdeen, to be actual, about 80 miles north of St. Andrews. And I questioned to her about this … feeling. 

    Nick Piastowski, Gemma Dryburgh

    I discovered a brand new ingesting buddy. She’s additionally top-of-the-line gamers on this planet.

    Nick Piastowski

    She will get it. 

    “I can’t think about what the ambiance have to be like. It should really feel like an enormous celebration of golf,” she graciously wrote again, whereas taking part in on the Dow Nice Lakes Bay Invitational. “I’m positive the entire city and the encircling space is completely buzzing with golf followers. I do know my aunt and uncle, who dwell about 20 miles from St. Andrews, mentioned their city is stuffed with individuals coming to observe the Open so the thrill is extending a lot farther than simply St. Andrews itself.” 

    Certainly. With that first takeaway, let’s speak the Swilcan Bridge and Tiger Woods and Marco Polo (sure) and every part else from Open week. And Gemma will be part of us. Let’s goal for 36 observations. It’s the day after the final main of the 12 months, so we deserve it to ourselves to play a couple of spherical. 

    2. Did Cam Smith win it? Or did Rory McIlroy lose it? You’re perhaps questioning this at present. 

    For the professionals, and although it’s seemingly cliche, the St. Andrews plan is endurance. You wait until factor are proper — the lie, the quantity, the wind, the texture — and also you pounce. Smith had sufficient of these probabilities and shot a 64. McIlroy didn’t and signed for a 70. On Saturday, it was reverse; Smith completed with a 73; McIlroy a 66.

    McIlroy might have perhaps been extra aggressive, although keep in mind, he was popping drivers to set himself up. Smith discovered momentum, and McIlroy didn’t. Have them play at present, the outcome might probably be completely different. 

    3. Two extra Smith ideas. May he be taking part in his golf for LIV subsequent? Right here’s this awkward change after he received:

    Cameron Smith is your 2022 Open Champion.

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    Reporter: “Cam, apologies for having to carry this up in these circumstances, however your title continues to be talked about, has been talked about to me this week about LIV golf. What’s your place? Are you ? Is there any fact to strategies that you just could be signing?”

    Smith: “I simply received the British Open, and also you’re asking about that. I feel that’s fairly not that good.”

    Reporter: “I recognize that, however the query continues to be there. Are you in any respect? Is there any fact in that?”

    Smith: “I don’t know, mate. My crew round me worries about all that stuff. I’m right here to win golf tournaments.”

    My guess: He’ll play the PGA Tour playoffs — he talked about this on Golf Channel, too — then keep tuned. 

    4. Smith likes his beer, and all of us acquired amusing on Sunday when he mentioned he would attempt to determine what number of brews the Claret Jug might maintain. He wasn’t kidding. 

    5. Poor Rory. What else is there to say? The thought, although, is that this: He’s tinkered earlier than, and it’s best to take note of whether or not he does it once more. 

    He shouldn’t. 

    6. Query to Gemma! 

    Me: “Why … the Outdated Course? What’s it about it that’s so … dynamic? Describe to me the Outdated Course.” 

    Gemma: “The Outdated Course is a really particular place. It has this aura round it that no different course has once you arrive there. You nearly at all times get goosebumps even once you’re simply strolling across the place. I feel it’s the historical past that the city and the course have, and also you simply know you’re in a really particular place. 

    “I feel it’s also particular that it hasn’t been modified a lot since golf first began there. I feel it offers it a sure purity that no different course will ever have. And you’ll’t get way more of an iconic place than the primary few holes and the ending holes wherever else on this planet.”

    7.  Should you’re an American golf fan, you need Cameron Younger in your Ryder and Presidents Cup groups. He has that murderer look to him. 

    Rory McIlroy walks off 18th hole St. Andrews

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    8. Viktor Hovland had certainly one of my favourite quotes of the week, after Saturday’s third spherical.

    Reporter: “Did you ever have a thought at present that is the place I supposed to be my whole life, on this state of affairs?”

    Hovland: “I used to be pondering what the hell am I doing right here? [He laughed.] Yeah, I imply, it’s fairly loopy from the place I grew up and so far-off from taking part in the PGA Tour, European Tour, for that matter, main championships. Simply to be right here could be very particular, however to have an opportunity to win one is — yeah, I’ve to pinch myself, however that doesn’t imply I’m going to carry again tomorrow.”

    9. Possibly that is the place we segue into LIV Golf. We’ll hold it temporary. Hostility is the phrase to explain the sentiments final week, at the very least between reporters and LIV gamers. Although Sergio Garcia mentioned this Friday:

    Reporter: “With every part that’s been mentioned the final couple of weeks, how a lot has it galvanized you guys, I imply even the R&A this week?”

    Garcia: “I don’t care what they are saying. I don’t even learn. I don’t know find out how to learn anymore.”

    OK then. 

    10. Lee Westwood mentioned there’s been no points, although, between gamers.

    “I’ve spoken to lots of people over there final week, and there’s no animosity between gamers,” he mentioned to a reporter. “But the story’s been written that there are. Yeah, you’re creating points the place there are none. You wish to be that means, effective.”

    Rory McIlroy walks on sunday at the old course.

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    11. The world rating resolution can be fascinating. However I’m very to know what Augusta Nationwide says. 

    12. Query to Gemma!

    Me: “Describe to me St. Andrews, the city.” 

    Gemma: “The city of St. Andrews is a really particular place, too. It’s small and personable. There are such a lot of cute little golf outlets and regular outlets to wander round. Even in case you don’t play golf, it’s a tremendous city to go to and discover. The college performs an enormous half in the neighborhood and has loads of stunning buildings. The seashore can be stunning and a tremendous place to stroll. The city has its justifiable share of historical past aside from golf, too, so the city actually has one thing for everybody and is only a pleasure to stroll round and discover.”

    13. Another LIV commentary, type of. Ian Poulter was booed forward of his opening tee shot on Thursday, although he says he didn’t hear it. However the hisses raised an fascinating thought to me: That might be some jolt in case you’re not anticipating it. I do know the place I might put my golf ball. Right here’s what Poulter did along with his: 

    14. Let’s speak St. Andrews, the course. The speak forward of the match was whether or not it was defenseless in opposition to fashionable gamers, gear and golf balls; the dialogue in the course of the occasion was St. Andrews’ protection — quick fairways, tough pins and the standard humps and bumps and breezes of hyperlinks golf. 

    Right here’s the thought: Had been you pondering that on Sunday afternoon? Whether or not the tech is dialed again or not — and it most likely can be — the golf was enjoyable, to gamers and viewers. The scores have been low, however this wasn’t precisely level, click on and shoot golf.   

    Let’s transfer on. 

    15. The seventeenth was jabbed a bit for being too arduous, and it most likely was because of its pin areas, however man, that Cam Smith sequence across the inexperienced was each tense and pleasing to observe. We’ll take that, proper?

    16. The 18th was jabbed a bit for being too straightforward, and it most likely was because of its lack of distance and speedy fairway, however man, that Rory McIlroy sequence across the inexperienced was each tense and pleasing to observe. We’ll take that, proper?

    17. Do you even go to St. Andrews in case you don’t get a pic atop the Swilcan Bridge? Although, Terry Gannon, on the NBC broadcast, shared a shaggy dog story, when he mentioned the photographer of his image years in the past … didn’t embody the bridge. 

    links at st. andrews

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    18. Has Gemma ever performed the Outdated Course?

    “I’ve, however performed the Outdated Course solely as soon as, although. Performed with my dad once I was roughly 13 or 14. However I’ve performed loads of the opposite St. Andrews programs whereas rising up and taking part in a number of tournaments there.”  

    19. Talking of the Swilcan, let’s speak Tiger. What a second on Friday, and also you’ve little question seen and examine it already, so we’ll look forward. (Although in case you haven’t, our Dylan Dethier captured the scene properly right here.) 

    Right here’s what we all know, based on him: He’s not retiring, he’s undecided when he’s taking part in once more, he’s undecided if he’ll once more be capable of play St. Andrews once more. Although son Charlie could push him out for a spherical. 

    “I’m positive my son will most likely need me to return again right here and play,” he mentioned Friday. “I used to be lucky sufficient to have gotten an honorary membership to the R&A. I’ve my locker right here proper once you stroll into the left right here. That’s fairly neat. And due to that, I’m in a position to get a tee time. (Woods laughed.) So that might occur.”

    20. So when can we see him play once more? In all probability not until his Hero World Problem in December, although he could make an look on the Presidents Cup in September. In order that’s 5 months of rehab, energy coaching, apply and adjustment to what his physique now permits him to do. 

    After that, we would not see him till the Masters. In order that’s one other 4 months of labor. You may take that optimistically and say that’s what he wants proper now. Or you would suppose pessimistically and wonder if the shortage of match reps might price him.

    None of this, after all, is information to Woods himself. 

    21. Talking of the Swilcan and Tiger, he was photographed with Jack Nicklaus there earlier within the week and this occurred:

    22. Another on Woods. He appears … lighter, proper? The JT jab. The putts into McIlroy’s shoe. The trash-talking with Lee Trevino. McIlroy had a thought right here. 

    “I’ve gotten to know Tiger very properly over the previous decade or extra, and he’s like that in personal moments, extra so than anybody actually thinks,” McIlroy mentioned. “However I feel he’s simply perhaps exhibiting that aspect a bit of extra, that aspect of himself a bit of extra to the general public over these previous couple of years. 

    “And as his profession is type of winding down, I assume you would say, I feel he now appreciates every part that he’s acquired performed within the sport. I feel Tiger’s mindset has at all times been, OK, onto the subsequent one, onto the subsequent one, onto the subsequent one. I feel, particularly after the Masters in ’19, for him to simply sit again and replicate on what a profession it’s been, I feel he perhaps appreciates all of it only a bit extra now, and that’s a part of the rationale that you just’re seeing that type of lightness and extra joyful individual on the golf course, I assume.”

    23. Then there’s taking part in with Woods. Right here’s Max Homa, who performed along with his childhood idol for the primary time, on what he picked up: 

    “He does appear to do a very good job of staying inside himself when he walks and the way he strikes. Yeah, you clearly need to lock in — I feel we see it on TV with them, however there’s simply so many frickin’ individuals. It’s cool — I’m undecided if it feels cool to him anymore, however it’s simply cool to observe. Matt Fitzpatrick and I have been speaking about how each time Tiger is hitting off the tee, particularly there’s simply so many telephones and so many individuals’s arms simply within the air. They don’t even know in the event that they’re getting a shot. It’s simply spectacular he can do what he does and has performed with all that spotlight.”

    24. St. Andrews additionally slowed play down in the course of the first two rounds — some rounds have been six hours plus — and Dethier summed up the rationale properly when he tweeted: “The ball’s going loopy far so gamers have to attend for greens to clear from 350+, however then balls find yourself in fescue, bunkers and many others. Lengthy sport requires ready, brief sport requires time. Drivable 4s, reachable 5s, overlapping holes all make it worse.”

    25. Then there are Shane Lowry’s emotions on the matter.

    “I’ve been doing this lengthy sufficient to cope with days like at present,” he mentioned Thursday. “Should you’re standing there attempting to make excuses in your unhealthy day for being too lengthy on the course, properly, don’t come right here and play as a result of it’s the Open at St. Andrews, and it’s going to take six hours to play a spherical round right here, and that’s simply the way in which it’s. I understand how to cope with that.”

    26. Talking of quotes, listed here are a couple of of my favorites from the week. First up, there was this change between a reporter and Trey Mullinax:

    Reporter. “What did you do yesterday?” 

    Mullinax: “What did I do yesterday?

    Reporter. “Whenever you completed.”

    Mullinax: “I went and had pizza.”

    Reporter. “Not dinner, however was making the reduce a problem for you? Did you do something particular on the finish?”


    27. After which there was this change between a reporter and Filippo Celli:

    “How a lot do you just like the Ryder Cup venue in Rome? Marco Polo?”

    Celli: “No, Marco Simone.”

    Cameron Smith

    Cam Smith slammed an iron. What adopted on the Open was unforgettable.

    Nick Piastowski

    28. Query to Gemma! 

    Have you ever ever gone to an Open?

    “I’ve. I went to the Open at St. Andrews in 2010. Turnberry in 2009, Troon in 2004. I used to be additionally at my grandparents’ home in Carnoustie when Paul Laurie received in 1999. My dad was there watching in individual for that one.”

    29. A number of extra quotes. Right here’s Danny Willettt, on why he enjoys St. Andrews a lot:

    “A little bit of historical past. I feel it’s simply good enjoyable. You may simply cleverly golf your ball round this place. You may hit sure pictures that you just wouldn’t ordinarily hit. You’re attempting to make use of the wind to melt the flight. You’re taking part in your spherical of golf so much. You’re not simply standing there hitting the identical shot time and time once more. You see loads of completely different approaches down completely different holes. Guys hitting something from 4-irons to drivers, depends upon what they see, what shot form they hit. And so I feel it lends itself to actual good shot-making and good visualization. 

    “You may run it as much as sure flags like 17. Some guys attempting to spin it and maintain it softly in opposition to the wind. There’s simply plenty of issues you are able to do. I feel notoriously in case you look again on the Opens round this place, they’re very, excellent winners. Actual good ball-strikers, good flight. Individuals can fly the ball rather well. It’s only a good shotmaker’s golf course.”

    30. And right here’s Sahith Theegala, a hyperlinks newcomer, on why he likes hyperlinks. 

    “It is as removed from vanilla golf because it will get. You may actually hit no matter you need from wherever. There aren’t any guidelines. I like that. Even on 18, we have been 85 yards from the pin and we mentioned placing it.” – Sahith Theegala to @CaraBanksGC on hyperlinks golf at #TheOpen Go @SRTheegala !!

    — ThisDayInGolf (@ThisDayInGolf) July 15, 2022

    31. Let’s speak the vibe. Gentle serve was fashionable on the course, and Jordan Spieth tried to accommodate a cone, then stop. 

    32. The Los Angeles Instances wrote a wonderful story on the tent metropolis at St. Andrews, the place you would have stayed for the occasion, ought to you’ve gotten received a lottery. The Open has had this characteristic since 2016.  

    33. St. Andrews is closed to golf on Sundays, however open to the general public, and the Fried Egg shared this excellent video that confirmed that after the Open, it was enterprise as ordinary.  

    Maybe our favourite second of the week strolling out tonight as The Outdated Course turned again right into a public park for Sundays. Strollers within the 18th fairway, youngsters taking part in within the street gap bunker, and the subsequent Cam Smith right here studying the bottom sport.

    — The Fried Egg (@the_fried_egg) July 17, 2022

    34. Jack Nicklaus, who received two Opens at St. Andrews, was requested for his technique. He didn’t disappoint. 

    35. Scotsman Robert MacIntyre was taking part in in his dwelling nation, on its most well-known course, and there was arguably nobody whom this week meant extra to. 

    “Yesterday [Friday] was massive for me,” he mentioned. “I’ve by no means been that burdened on a golf course in my life. With seven holes to go, I don’t know what was occurring. Needed to flip away from the precise fairway on 16 as a result of there was an excessive amount of occurring. Fan help is completely good, however I used to be feeling it. Virtually — you’re not letting individuals down, however you understand how a lot it means. There’s so many individuals supporting me, and it means a lot to me that I simply didn’t — I wasn’t going to allow them to down as a result of I used to be having a tough bit, however I used to be attempting nearly too arduous. 

    “Then the 2 putts on 16 and 17 yesterday, I simply gave up. I used to be like, nice, I gotta have these putts, and in the event that they go in, they go in. Fortunately, I holed them.”

    36. Woods’ mother, Kutilda, was additionally available, which led to this implausible change: 

    I can’t imagine this! My brother is carrying his Tiger Woods t shirt at #TheOpen (he copied of me shopping for one).

    Kultida Woods (Tiger’s mum) stopped him, complimented his t shirt and gave him a TW badge!!! 🤯🤯🤯

    — Man Charnock (@GuyCharnock) July 14, 2022

    37. Let’s do a couple of extra. Think about this our nineteenth holes. Do you have to wish to know extra about all that’s Scotland and Scottish golf, do your self a favor and comply with our Sean Zak on Twitter. He’s posted up there all summer season lengthy, and it’s been a pleasure to comply with alongside.  

    38. Query to Gemma! 

    What’s the No. 1 factor you need to do once you’re in St. Andrews (eat, drink, store, see)? 

    “Properly I’ve to say a go to to St. Andrews Brewing Firm is a should! [Editor’s note: Gemma is backed by the brewery, but … she’s not wrong.] A go to to the Dunvegan and Auchterlonies golf store are additionally musts and really feel like they’re an enormous a part of the expertise at St Andrews. The R&A golf museum can be a should for any golfer visiting too. Once I was a child, I additionally cherished going to the aquarium!”

    39. She emailed again. “Additionally forgot the Jigger Inn as a should go-to!” 

    40. So with that being mentioned … what’s the drink of selection on the Jigger??

    “For me, it’s a Tennent’s lager, however they stunning a lot have every part in there! If they’ve BrewCo beer, I’d clearly like to have certainly one of them.”

    Should you’re , I additionally compiled takeaways, ideas and observations this 12 months from the Masters, PGA Championship and U.S. Open, and they are often discovered under:

    PGA Championship
    U.S. Open 

    Golf Journal

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    Nick Piastowski

    Nick Piastowski Editor

    Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Journal. In his function, he’s accountable for enhancing, writing and growing tales throughout the golf house. And when he’s not writing about methods to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native might be taking part in the sport, hitting the ball left, proper and brief, and ingesting a chilly beer to clean away his rating. You may attain out to him about any of those matters — his tales, his sport or his beers — at [email protected]

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