Gary Woodland | The Open
Two-time PGA Tour winner Gary Woodland will be relying on his caddie’s years of experience to put him in the mix to win in St Andrews this weekend, he has exclusively told bunkered.co.uk.
Woodland’s caddie, Tony Navarro has worked in the past with both Adam Scott and Greg Norman at Open Championships in the town, and the American is hoping that knowledge will help guide him to Open glory.
“I’m fortunate in that I have a caddie who has been here a number of times. He’s been here for 11 Open Championships, including with Norman and others back in the day,” said Woodland after taking part in a pre-Open Under Armour event at Fairmont St Andrews.
“I’ll rely a lot on him this week and hopefully he can guide me round. He’s already been passing on a lot of tips. He was here with Adam Scott in 2005 and 2010 and he was with Greg Norman for the three or four before that.
“He’s been here a bunch, he’s told me what they did on some holes and what they did on different circumstances with the wind, so hopefully he can tell me where to go and I can execute it.”
"I think the extra length I have will prove a big plus over the week" - Gary Woodland
Another factor Woodland believes gives him an advantage over the rest of the field is the distance he hits it off the tee. Currently ranked 11th on the PGA Tour in driving distance, the 31-year-old is confident he can make the most of it, especially if the wind blows.
“I think the distance I can hit the ball, especially if the wind is blowing, I think the extra length I have will prove a big plus over the week,” continued Woodland. “If we get the right wind conditions, there are spots that you can hit driver and get yourself up and around the green and make a lot of birdies.”
Woodland is smart enough to know he can’t pull out the driver at every available opportunity and believes taking his medicine and not carding high numbers will be key.
“You obviously have to attack holes like the first and the 18th, but you’ve got to be conservative, too, and avoid the big numbers. Tiger avoided the bunkers in 2000, but it’s highly likely that you’ll find at least one at some point. You’ve got to get out, avoid the big number and take a bogey.”
See Gary Woodland at the Open
Woodland will tee off at 13:12 on Thursday alongside Danny Willett and Thongchai Jaidee.