Tiger's dawn raid at St Andrews

World No.1 after early birdies as he prepares to defend his St Andrews Old Course record.

Golfmagic corespondent
Mon, 11 Jul 2005
Tiger's dawn raid at St Andrews

Tiger – back at St Andrews

You had to be up with the larks this morning to get an early glimpse of Tiger Woods at St Andrews. The world No.1 played a practice round soon after dawn to check out the changes which have been made to the Old Course which stages The Open Championship this week.

With spectators not allowed in until 8.30am, Woods – the winner here in 2000 with a record 15-under par total - was due to have finished before most early arrivals had set foot on the classic old links.

However, the consolation for the fans was the sight of Jack Nicklaus – 18 times a major winner – preparing for his final Open appearance.

He was due to tee up for a practice rounds at 11am alongside Nick Faldo – winner here in 1990 – Fred Couples and fellow American Bart Bryant. Tony Jacklin, winner of The Open at Lytham in 1969 and the US Open the following year, was due to tee off at noon.

And it will be noon on Thursday when The Open will stop to allow players and spectators to observe a two-minute silence to remember the victims of the London bomb attacks.

Nicklaus final curtain call

Competitors at the weekend's Scottish Open at Loch Lomond chose to wear black ribbons as a mark of respect.

Michael Campbell, the US Open winner from New Zealand, expressed concerns over security at The Open, where Fife police are to step up their checks on spectator possessions being taken into the event. However, they say they are confident in their planning procedues.

Former Ryder Cup player Brad Faxon duly qualified for his fifth successive Open Championship scraping through at Lundin Links by one stroke after rounds of 64 and 68.

His best finished was seventh at Turnberry in 1994 where he led by one shot going into the final round but eventually lost out to Nick Price.

Faxon – qualified at Lundin

Lars Brovold (Norway) and Ove Floren (Sweden) also qualified, with amateur Edoardo Molinari getting through at Ladybank, despite losing his clubs in transit from Italy.

Ping stepped in with a replacement set and Molinari responded with rounds of 67 and 66.

Eric Ramsay the Australian Amateur champion from Carnoustie, makes his Open debut after qualifying at Leven alongside Sean McDonagh, while Murray Urquhart, who plays on the Challenge Tour, headed the qualifiers at Scotscraig.

When former order of merit winner Ronan Rafferty – a Sky Sports pundit - hit his approach shot out of bounds at the last at Lundin in the first qualifying round on Saturday (he’d earlier taken nine at the 17th), he walked off the course and was disqualified.