The Old Course at St. Andrews remains Tiger Woods’ favorite golf course in the world.
Matthew Fitzpatrick? Not so much, he revealed earlier this week, prior to teeing it up in the 150th Open Championship.
He doubled down on that sentiment Saturday.
“I'll be honest, I'm not really a fan,” Fitzpatrick said. “I just feel like sometimes – I've heard it on commentary all week – you can hit good shots and get bad bounces, and you can hit bad shots and get good bounces. … I felt, for the first seven holes, I didn't really miss a shot. I'm walking off seventh green and I'm plus-1. It's tough to take. It's tough to stay patient.”
Despite his lack of infatuation with the iconic seaside links, Fitzpatrick fired a 3-under 69 and at 9 under sits inside the top 10, though seven shots behind co-leaders Viktor Hovland and Rory McIlroy, who both sit at 16 under, which is lower than all but five 72-hole winning Open scores.
Fitzpatrick, who last month won the U.S. Open at The Country Club (one of Fitzpatrick’s favorite golf courses), said that’s likely too much ground to make up, especially in the afternoon on a firm and fast Old Course with, in his words, incredibly tucked pins.
“This golf course is one that you can go low round; obviously, the only issue is most of the low scores tend to come in the morning when the greens are soft,” Fitzpatrick explained before later adding. “With how firm it is, they obviously exaggerate some of the slopes and stuff as well. You see where the pins are this week. A lot of them are incredibly tucked, just to try and protect it as much as possible. … Some of the pins, as you can see, are incredibly tucked, just over slopes. I hit the green on 12, and I just got no putt. It's tucked on top of a hill, and I hit what I thought was a good putt and it comes to 12 feet. There's a lot of stuff like that that's been done, obviously, to protect it from going lower, I guess.”
Fitzpatrick was also asked if the Old Course, without wind and firmness, would withstand the modern game.
His answer was simple: “Probably not.”