Open Championship (Royal Troon) – Fantasy Golfanac

Course Details

Royal Troon Golf Club in South Ayrshire, Scotland
7,190 yards – Par 71 – Bentgrass Greens

Strength of Field Rating: 600+ OWGR … Strong Field Strength
Greens in Regulation (Field Average): 57% … Tough-to-Hit Greens <-- 2004 @ Royal Troon Fairways Hit (Field Average): 49% …Tough-to-Hit Fairways <-- 2004 @ Royal Troon

Tournament Angles

#1 Strong Field Events
#2 Major Championships
#3 Links Courses
#4 Hard Courses
#5 Bentgrass Greens
#6 Windy Rounds

Previous Winners

2015: Zach Johnson -15 over Marc Leishman, Louis Oosthuizen in a playoff
2014: Rory McIlroy -17 over Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler -15
2013: Phil Mickelson -3 over Henrik Stenson Even
2012: Ernie Els -7 over Adam Scott -6
2011: Darren Clarke -5 over Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson -2
2010: Louis Oosthuizen -16 over Lee Westwood -9

54-Hole Leaders

2015: Jason Day, Paul Dunne, Louis Oosthuizen -12
2014: Rory McIlroy -16
2013: Lee Westwood -3
2012: Adam Scott -11
2011: Darren Clarke -5
2010: Louis Oosthuizen -15

36-Hole Leaders

2015: Dustin Johnson -10
2014: Rory McIlroy -12
2013: Miguel Angel Jimenez -3
2012: Brandt Snedeker -10
2011: Darren Clarke, Lucas Glover -4
2010: Louis Oosthuizen -12

Tournament Horses (Since 2006)

Sergio Garcia… 84.118 strokes gained in 38 rounds
Adam Scott… 82.630 strokes gained in 38 rounds
Jim Furyk… 57.051 strokes gained in 36 rounds
Ernie Els… 55.723 strokes gained in 34 rounds

Important Interview Quotes

Q. It is a big adjustment for you guys coming over from America; greens regularly 14 on the Stimpmeter and suddenly these are 10 1/2. It’s a difficult thing to do, isn’t it?
It is, but you’ve got to make the adjustment. That’s why you come here early to make that adjustment. That’s why you spend time on the greens. I just haven’t trusted it on the golf course. I keep fearing knocking it five, six feet by, and I keep coming up short and that’s why I’m working on it. -2016, Scottish Open

Q. Is there something about a switch, just turning things on in links golf?
I like links golf. I grew up playing it. I feel like I adapt maybe quicker than some other players do. Like I said yesterday, the weekend I spent in Troon after the missed the cut in France was big for me on a lot of levels. Like that third shot to the last from 99 yards, it was a 9-iron and a shot I was working on there at Troon at the weekend, stuff like that.

It’s very hard to tune into that type of golf, hitting a 9-iron from a hundred yards. You don’t see that often. You don’t play shots like that very often, and getting some practise is really very invaluable. -2016, Scottish Open

Q. You hit a lot of irons off tees, at least the ones I saw.
A lot of it was just the wind. We hit 4-irons off most of the tees, but it was just the nature of the golf course. The other day I hit a couple of a 5-irons starting off the first couple of holes, because that’s just the way the holes play. You’ve just got to put the ball in play and move on. -2004

Q. Mike Weir was in here before talking about playing more by feel over here, not trusting yardages. As someone who hasn’t played a ton of golf over here, is that something you have been trying to do the last couple of years over here?
Well, I learned a lot at St. George’s last year. I was fortunate enough to top 10 it there. And I started playing a little more of a ground game. And like today, I played a lot of balls, 10, 15 yards short of the green and bounced it up into the hole and was able to get away with that. I guess there is feel, but you’ve still got to know the yardage, know how to carry it and know where to land it. I still think you need to be precise on what you’re doing out there. It’s just a great golf course.

I’m telling you, it’s tough to get comfortable on this golf course. I mean you feel like you have to defense a lot out there, even on the easy holes, even on the outward nine. So you’ve got to stay out of the pot bunkers. All the faces on all these bunkers are so severe. My ball went in the bunker to the right on the 8th hole and I couldn’t take a stance, I was out of the bunker, and I couldn’t get it out, I made an easy 5. -2004

STEWART McDOUGALL: Ladies and gentlemen, Todd Hamilton, 67 today for 138 and joint leader in the clubhouse. When you started this morning, did you anticipate you’d be in that position after your round?
No way. I haven’t really played well for two or three months. It was nice to finally find some form. I know this is the kind of golf and golf course in general that you can hit a lot of good shots and they might end up poor. And you can hit a lot of poor shots that can end up good. So I’m just trying to be patient with my golf right now. When I do hit a bad shot I’m trying to make sure that I stay out of the bunkers, because they are truly hazards this week. I’ve seen that firsthand with the players in my group the first two days. -2004

Q. K.J., when you came to Troon did you think at this stage you’d be leading the championship after two rounds?
No. Second round, still playing pretty good, everything going smooth. I feel like the Troon golf course fits me very well because in many ways it’s similar to where I grew up in that it’s by the ocean and it makes me very comfortable. So I think that’s why I’m feeling at home right now. -2004

Q. Last year’s venue, Royal St. Georges, in some eyes was considered a little bit quirky. Obviously there were some issues on the weekend at Shinnecock in terms of the setup. How is the course in terms of its ability to reward shots and penalize bad ones?
This golf course is a hundred percent dependent on the weather. And if it doesn’t blow, then the guys are going to shoot some good numbers. If it does blow, it presents quite a challenge, especially coming home. -2004

Q. The courses you’ve played around the world, where would you rate this back 9 in degree of difficulty? And if you can think of any harder ones, where would they be?
If the wind is blowing like it did yesterday afternoon or how I played it the first couple of days, then I don’t see many golf courses where they’ve got tougher finishing holes or nine holes than this one, because it was really only one hole, No. 12, where the wind is off the right. And every hole on the back nine is off the left. And as a right-handed golfer, that’s the toughest wind there is, especially with the new tee on 15. -2004

Q. Do you think links golf, this tournament, by the end of the week identifies the best player?
The person who probably controls their ball the best, yes. -2004

Q. Is it fair to say you’ve played this course more than anybody else in the field and how often — how many times have you played it, would you say, in a round number?
Yes, I’ve definitely played this course more than anyone else in the field. I’m the only member playing, I think. I don’t know how many times one plays a golf course. Hundreds and hundreds of times, I suppose, yeah. -2004

Q. I think your second best open finish is here at Troon. Does it suit you better than any of the other venues in the road?
It’s not really saying much, my second best performance is here. But I have — I remember liking this golf course very much in ’97. I remember Thursday’s round coming home in such a difficult wind I couldn’t reach three or four of the par-4s. And it was so challenging. I would love to see it play that challenging again. As tough as it was, I’d love to see that again, because it was a lot of fun to try to make pars on such a tough test. -2004

Q. How do you rate this golf course, and what special problems does it present?
I would suggest this is certainly one of the fairest courses on The Open roster. You don’t attach fair to links courses. Golf was designed back then for it to be fair. It was designed to be a game of mental fortitude rather than anything else. But this course doesn’t — you don’t get too many bounces off the fairway here. The fairways aren’t exactly flat, they’re undulating. It’s not like Royal St. Georges, they don’t gather in areas. I think everybody will feel like they have a chance.

It’s not a golf course that suits long or straight hitters, it suits everybody. There’s been a variety of winners over the years. So most people going out there will feel like, yes, this is a golf course we can all play. The greens are pretty flat. There’s areas to land the ball short of the greens that you can bounce the ball up. You can hit drivers on some holes and carry the bunkers, but also straight hitters will be long by running between the bunkers. It’s a good golf course to play on, one that everybody can compete on. -2004

Q. The key probably for the back nine is to drive the thing as straight as possible. Would you say you’re driving as well as you’ve ever driven it?
I’m driving it well. This week, you can miss fairways, so you don’t have to be as straight in the world. You can go into the rough. If you go into the real high stuff you’ve really got a problem. But if you hit solid drives they might just run off the fairways, you’re still going to be fine. That’s why I say it’s very fair. You’ve got to maybe manufacture something out of there, but you’re going to be okay. I kind of like that, because I’m not the straightest hitter in the world, but I’m not off the planet, either. If I’m going to miss it, I’m going to have a shot, so that takes the pressure off my driving a little bit. I’m hitting it solid with my driver, and you need to be long on the back nine. So it’s going to favor the longer hitter, and you don’t have to be the straightest hitter, either. If you’re going to miss one, you’re still going to have a shot. It takes the pressure off you feel a little bit on the tee boxes. -2004

Quotes found at unless otherwise noted.

Tournament Notes

2016: There are 98 bunkers on the course. Changes made since the 2004 edition are considered minor tweaks. Listen to an interview with R&A’s MArtin Slumbers for more information: Interview with Martin Slumbers

Greens are a mixture of bentgrass (70%) and poa annua (30%). Fairways an rough also feature red fescue. More information on Course Environment