Koepka, Tiger and the air of invincibility — MCCARTHY

Lynch The Open Championship at Portrush may be the only thing Northern Ireland can agree on	
				Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Lynch The Open Championship at Portrush may be the only thing Northern Ireland can agree on Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

"What golfers know when you start playing a round of golf is there's going to be a lot of problems", said developer Tom Heilbron.

It would be simple to assume it was fatigue.

In this case, no-one wants to overdo it at a major, so this was nothing out of the ordinary. I heard a lot about it. After playing 17 events past year, Woods has scaled back his schedule considerably this season, and is making just his fourth start since winning the Masters in April.

"There is an art to playing links golf", said Woods, referring to the type of undulating, seaside courses among sand dunes used to host the Open championship.

It's everything since then that speaks to his outlook on golf. So, it was special for us as a family.

Perhaps even better for the 30-year-old was how he played.

From developing a stutter and anxiety issues after drinking rat poison as a toddler to getting banned from golf for taking beta blockers, Christiaan Bezuidenhout has overcome plenty on the way to his first major championship. Sure, in general if you hit a good shot there's always a bit of unpredictability on links golf. "Like I said, over the previous year and a half, I just felt like if other guys had done what I had done it would be a bigger deal. Hopefully I can make better memories than five years ago".

Of course Koepka is hoping that Elliott can do more than just introduce him to his pals and give him dinner recommendations.

And still to be determined is what kind of weather - the wind, in particular - Woods and the rest of the players will see. Crowds for yesterday's practice alone were two deep around most greens for McDowell, with more and more spectators coming through the gates as the days progress.

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It has been quite the journey to this week's British Open for the 25-year-old South African.

The forecast? Take a pick.

The world number one arrives at the fourth major of the season having been in the top two for each of the first three. It concluded by saying, "Confidence low in any details at this stage". But on Tuesday at Royal Portrush, Koepka stole the show from Woods in the interview room, and that might be a first. Darren Clarke, who forged his game on these links as a junior, felt the same way.

Crowds lined the fairways. The 29-year-old from England has three recent European Tour wins. "I hadn't been over here yet and I'm glad I did, because it's a attractive place", Woodland said. "I've hit a lot of drivers".

"Last year I played a little bit too much, the body was pretty beat up", Woods added.

Golf fans last saw the 15-time major champion in Pebble Beach at the U.S. Open, where he finished T21 but was never in contention.

The Royal & Ancient wanted two new holes - Nos. He lost in a playoff. "So I anticipate there will be some fireworks out there for him this week", Woodland said.

"I've tried to put it out of my thoughts, but now that you're here and you see it come to fruition, it's hard not to think about walking up here and holing a putt at Royal Portrush to win The Open", he smiled. The golf course is fast enough. "You've just got to get over it and move on".

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