The Forecaddie: Conditions make Carnoustie ripe for birdies at British Open

The 18th green, scoreboard, grandstand and hotel await all the mayhem that is The Open. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images) Andrew Redington/Getty Images

The Forecaddie: Conditions make Carnoustie ripe for birdies at British Open

Forecaddie

The Forecaddie: Conditions make Carnoustie ripe for birdies at British Open

The Forecaddie finally took a stroll around Carnoustie and got a close look at the conditions. As Tiger Woods said Sunday, the fairways are faster than the greens and, for The Man Out Front, the look is hard to like.

As magnificent as the firm, yellow-beige-dead fairways look in person to lovers of links, the poa annua and fescue greens are too green, too soft and holding shots enough that TMOF can’t envision players trying many long run-up shots. In practice rounds, The players have been attacking hole locations with ease and appear unfazed by the ground firmness.

Also of note is the rough. The tall stuff is not very tall in most places and pretty harmless. In spots, like the 18th, some denser grasses might complicate matters for the bomb-and-gouge approach. And certainly there will be flyers, but overall The Forecaddie won’t fault players who attack Carnoustie.

That said, with all of the fairway roll, Justin Thomas still sounds like he’s got the right game plan.

“I’m probably not going to make any bogeys from a gap wedge in the rough, but I’m probably going to make a lot more birdies with a 7- or 8-iron from the fairway,” Thomas said.

What does it all add up to?

Barring a windy event, we’ll see an under-par winning score. Carnoustie will still give players headaches and claim its share of victims, but with some monster drives and much less fear factor, Carnoustie may also yield a lot more birdies than it ever has.

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