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Jordan Spieth fears St Andrews could prove too easy for the world’s best players when it hosts the 150th Open Championship next week.
Seven years after missing out on a play-off by a shot as he attempted to win the third leg of an unprecedented calendar grand slam, Spieth returns to the Old Course in pursuit of a second Open title following his victory at Royal Birkdale in 2017.
The 62 recorded by Branden Grace in the third round that year remains the lowest in men’s major championship history, although three months later Ross Fisher set a course record of 61 at St Andrews in the Dunhill Links Championship.
Asked after an opening 68 in the Genesis Scottish Open if the Old Course could prove too easy, Spieth: “Yeah, I think it might be.
“It’s hard for me to tell given in 2015 we had so much wind that we couldn’t even play. But I think if it’s like it was this morning out here, it’s just a wedge contest, really.
“It was not necessarily built for today’s technology but I think that even a nice 10 to 15 miles an hour wind would do something to it and the fact that it doesn’t look like we are going to get any rain, so I think the defence could be how fast it plays.
“It could get like Muirfield was in 2013, and I think that regardless of wind conditions, that would change the golf course significantly and make it challenging to hold fairways and greens.”
Spieth famously four-putted the eighth for a double bogey in the final round in 2015 but ultimately believes it was a “weak” tee shot on the difficult 17th which cost him the chance of a famous victory.
“I think what got me was actually the tee shot on 17,” said the former world number one, who had holed from 50 feet on the 16th to get into a tie for the lead.
“I chose to go down the left (towards the second fairway) thinking I could still manufacture a four, but that left me little to no angle. It was a little bit of a weak play I think looking back, and that’s the one I think about.
“I went in off a win, I was playing the best in the world at the time. I really wanted to win it for any reason, to win the golf tournament, to win a major, but obviously the third in a row would have been pretty awesome.”