147th Open Championship
Spieth: no more major controversies
Open champion Jordan Spieth doesn’t want to see any more of the kind of controversies which surfaced at the US Open (pic: SNS Group)
Defending Open champion Jordan Spieth hopes it is the quality of the golf which grabs the headlines at Carnoustie next month and not the kind of controversies which plagued the recent US Open.
Ryder Cup star Brooks Koepka created history when he successfully defended his crown at Shinnecock Hills. The tournament, however, will long be remembered for other talking points such as the players’ criticism of the set-up of the course and Phil Mickelson’s deliberate two-shot penalty in the third round.
With the next major, the 147th Open Championship, just a matter of weeks away, Spieth is keen to avoid a repeat of the Long Island sagas.
“I think it’s a bit of a shame that the main focus hasn’t been Brooks Koepka winning back-to-back US Open titles, at least from what I’ve seen and heard,” said the three times major winner.
“It’s been on golf course; players complaining; Phil. You know, you never really want that because it’s such a difficult thing to do to win a major.
“I don’t know what it’s like to repeat back-to-back years, but it’s not blank; we do what we do for the glory, for the other people that talk about it.
“But it is nice for the reaction to be about the accomplishment versus the failure of something else; that I do know a bit about. I’ve been on both sides of that with the US Open at Chambers Bay and then the 2016 Masters.
“You always want it to be about the person that won, and that’s just a positive light. I think that it will be controversy-free and it will have more likelihood of that being the case as technology improves and as we move forward with courses that have hosted majors before.
“So I don’t see anything getting worse. I see it getting better.”
Spieth won his first Claret Jug at Royal Birkdale last year and can’t wait to tee it up at Carnoustie.
He has never seen the Angus course, rated one of the most difficult tests of links golf in the world.
Despite that, he doesn’t plan on changing his routine for such tournaments which will see him play his first full round on the Monday before the Thursday start.
He said: “The plan is to get in Sunday afternoon, Sunday evening to Carnoustie and whether I get out there and I’m able to do anything Sunday, great. If not, start preparation on Monday.
“That’s no different from Birkdale or previous Opens or even other majors other than the Masters; courses I haven’t seen.
“We can get a lot of work done within three days and totally understand the golf course and what it presents.”
Next month’s tournament will be the Dallas man’s sixth Open and he said: “The Open Championship has always been one of my favourite events of my life to have played in, and I am looking forward to this challenge.
“I know Carnoustie presents, especially in the finishing holes but really throughout the entire golf course, a tremendous challenge that as a competitor, you look forward to. Tough, but fair.
“No matter the conditions, I know it will be difficult but you can obviously expect a little bit of everything in four days over in Scotland.
“I’ve seen Opens at Carnoustie. I’ve seen that the golf course has a reputation and a nickname, ‘Car-nasty,’ among a lot of the players, for being that difficult. Although it won’t be necessarily the golf course itself; the conditions can obviously create scores similar to what the US Open just saw. But I thoroughly enjoy links golf.”
The 147th Open Championship runs from 15th-22nd July.