HOYLAKE, ENGLAND | My ball lay near the middle of Royal Liverpool’s 14th fairway, shining in the spring sunshine much as a white snooker ball does on green baize. It was about as far from the flagstick as Tiger Woods’ had been on the same hole during his second round of the 2006 Open.
You won’t be surprised at the difference between Woods’ approach to the green 17 years ago and mine when I played the course, also known as Hoylake, earlier this year. His ball took two bounces and disappeared into the hole for an eagle; mine did not. Woods’ stroke, hit with a 4-iron, was the high point of a round of 7-under 65 which I described in The Times of London the next morning as one of the most remarkable displays of mid- and long-iron play I had seen in 50 years.
That was during the 11th, and the penultimate, Open to be staged there. The last was in 2014 when Rory McIlroy won. Now once again we turn our attention to the famous Merseyside course, with its storied golf history and pleasing practice of naming all of its holes, because the Op...
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