x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Watson warns of moody Old Course

The five-time champion kicks himself for failing to capitalise on the flat calm conditions today with a one-over 73 effort.

ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND // The Old Course was a seductive temptress yesterday in a flirtatious mood towards the world's best golfers, but Tom Watson warned the British Open field to take advantage of her generosity while they could. "She didn't have her clothes on today," the five-time champion said after carding a one-over par 73, kicking himself that he failed to capitalise on the flat calm conditions. "She was ripe for low numbers and that's what happened out there today."

It was a frustrating start for the 60-year-old who came within a whisker of claiming a sixth Claret Jug at Turnberry last year before losing out to fellow American Stewart Cink in a play-off. The scoreboard was plastered with red numbers yesterday as the Old Course dropped its defences and the low scores, headed by Rory McIlroy's record nine-under 63, kept coming. But Watson, now a veteran of seven Opens at the famed Fife links course, said players had better get their good scores in the bag early before she bared her teeth over the weekend.

"What she gave away this morning she will take away the next three days and it will be a wonderful test of golf. The wind's going to blow so I imagine around 72 will be a good score tomorrow and today a good score is around 68. "What is going to happen is that the wind will start this afternoon and then it's and then it's going to blow hard tomorrow and the next three days." * Reuters