Woods: Carnoustie course 'really fair'

Tiger Woods kept to his early-morning practice routine at Carnoustie today - despite getting caught in a torrential downpour.

Tiger Woods kept to his early-morning practice routine at Carnoustie today - despite getting caught in a torrential downpour.

Seeking a hat-trick of British Open titles, the world number one was on the course shortly before 6am in the company of Australian Rod Pampling, who has his own, rather more unwelcome, place in championship history.

The last time the event was staged here in 1999, Pampling led after an opening 71 – the only player to match par – but then carded a second-round 86 to become the only first-round leader in British Open history to miss the halfway cut.

Carnoustie felt like ’Car-nasty’ again for a time this morning as the rain lashed down, but Woods was undeterred and was in a relaxed mood as he completed all 18 holes.

Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn had been scheduled to join Woods today but was nowhere to be seen.

Woods also played 18 holes on Sunday and was pleased with what he saw.

“It’s playing great,” said the 31-year-old American. “It’s really nice, really fair.”

Asked if it had changed from the last time he played eight years ago, when he described the heavy rough and narrow fairways as unfair and ridiculous, Woods added: “Yes, you might say that.”

Since the birth of daughter Sam Alexis the day after he was joint runner-up behind Angel Cabrera at the US Open, Woods has played just once, finishing sixth in the AT&T National he was hosting.

He will still start favourite to lift the Claret Jug on Sunday and become the first player since Australian Peter Thomson (1954-56) to win a hat-trick of Open titles.

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