Woods says British Open has become best shot at a major

The injury which caused him to withdraw prior to the Scottish Open is a slight concern, but we're hoping that pushes people to look elsewhere, leaving us with an overweight stance on Stenson to the point where we should be at least double digits higher than the field.

After outlining his plan to grab Carnoustie by the scruff of the neck and blast his way up the leaderboard at The Open this week, Rory McIlroy looked to be enduring a frustrating final practice on the eve of golf's most prestigious tournament.

"It's great to be back", said the 29-year-old, who won the Claret Jug in 2014. "Hopefully, I can create some more good memories this week". I was bouncing down the fairways and I didn't care if I shot 82 or 62.

This is the first time McIlroy is playing an Open on a course for the second time.

He's had a fairly strong year on both the PGA and European Tour, only missing three cuts, and picking up four top-10 finishes including a T2 at Memorial. The winning score in 1999 was 6 over, and eventual victor Paul Lawrie shot exactly one score better than 73. "It makes it tough". Only two holes play right to left and the slower greens should help Woods' putting struggles. With wind often a factor on seaside courses, fast greens would become unplayable if they were allowed to get so quick, with balls at rest influenced. But for all of his experience, he did not begin to excel until the last few years.

One of those missed cuts came at last month's US Open and the world number six said: "I got very technical and into making everything ideal".

For example. Players such as Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka have suggested they will hit numerous drivers in attempt to blow tee shots over troublesome bunkers and take their chances with rough that is not almost as penal as expected. You know, a certain shot that is hit you think is a wonderful shot down the middle of the fairway could bounce some weird way.

You will see me mention the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in my playbook. I obviously remember that week very fondly for different reasons. "With links golf, you have to adapt". "There is not one player that has a game plan on a Wednesday night and is going to stick to it for the whole 72 holes".

"There's just not a lot of opportunities to hit driver, because the ball is going to be rolling 80 yards".

"I've put myself up there in contention a couple of times". That tournament is played on Carnoustie, St. Andrews and Kingsbarns. "You can never hit them on the green from them".

Woods, who is four off equalling Jack Nicklaus's all-time majors record of 18, said even to be back competing at an Open represented a small victory.

Fleetwood, 27, missed an eight-foot birdie putt on his 72nd hole at Shinnecock Hills in June, eventually losing by one shot. Instead, most of his shots are with a 3-iron or 4-iron.

Rickie Fowler - He's got to win one eventually, right?

Darren Clarke, the champion golfer of 2011, flies the Northern Irish flag alongside McIlroy. And there's something about links golf that inspires him.

The young quartet of major holders Spieth, Koepka, Patrick Reed (Masters) and Justin Thomas (PGA Championship) are expected to be in contention as they look to extend the USA winning run to six majors.

"If you get it downwind and you hit that little flat draw and it gets running, it will go pretty much until it runs into something, " Justin Thomas said.

There are any number of players who could win this week though, far too many to go into detail here. The breeze freshens in the afternoon, getting up to around 20-25mph.

"Even if I get a little bit older, I can still chase some wood or long club down there and hit the ball the same distance".