The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

July 16, 2014

Irons takes on added importance at British Open

HOYLAKE, England (AP) — When Tom Watson remembers his favorite shots from the British Open — and, given he's a five-time champion, there are plenty — one stands above all the others.

That 2-iron on the 72nd hole at Birkdale, locking up the last of his major titles in 1983.

Anyone who fancies a chance of hoisting the claret jug at Royal Liverpool would be well advised to practice the same sort of shot.

"That's where you beat your competitors, if you're a good long-iron player," Watson said. "You hit the shots where you're supposed to when you're a long way from the green."

Tiger Woods proved that in 2006, the last time the Open was played at this course in northwest England. He pulled out his driver only once all week, sticking almost entirely with his irons on the way to an 18-under score and two-stroke victory.

That week, the links course was so dried out it looked like nothing more than a cow pasture from the aerial camera shots. It was hard as a pool table, meaning Woods could get plenty of distance by keeping the ball low and letting it roll, the sort of shot the 2-iron was made for.

The conditions are much different this time around.

Royal Liverpool is greener and softer, the result of a cooler, wetter summer. Still, the 2-iron — heck, all the irons — will be of vital importance in controlling the ball and staying out of the devilish pot bunkers that serve essentially as an automatic penalty to anyone who strays in their direction.

Justin Rose pointed out that he won last week's Scottish Open while hitting nothing longer than a 6-iron off the tee on the final six holes.

"That's all based upon keeping it out of the bunkers," Rose said. "You can't play links golf from pot bunkers. They are true penalties. So whatever the club is, if it's a 2-iron or 3-iron or 4-iron or 5-iron, that's why they are important clubs to keep it in the fairway."

Text Only
AP Sports
  • Baseball Capsules LOS ANGELES (AP) — Matt Kemp singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning, Zack Greinke struck out a season-high 13 and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 on Wednesday night for their season-best fifth straight victory

    July 31, 2014

  • Rockies Cubs Baseball [Duplicate] Cubs C Baker enjoys spotlight after first win CHICAGO (AP) — John Baker's No. 12 was still in the pitcher's column on Wrigley Field's hand-operated scoreboard when the journeyman catcher returned to the ballpark on Wednesday. It was almost too good to be true, so Baker used his cellphone to grab

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Cardinals Padres Baseball-3 [Duplicate] Matheny: Cardinals suffer 'ugliest loss' of year SAN DIEGO (AP) — At least the St. Louis Cardinals didn't get shut out. Little else went right for the Cardinals on Wednesday night. Rookie Jesse Hahn held St. Louis to one run and four hits in seven innings and Jedd Gyorko and Will Venable each homer

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Cubs acquire struggling LHP Doubront from Red Sox CHICAGO (AP) — Theo Epstein was the first person to take a chance on Felix Doubront. Now he is going to give the struggling left-hander another opportunity. The Chicago Cubs acquired Doubront from the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday in exchange for a pla

    July 31, 2014

  • Cardinals Padres Basbeall [Duplicate] Walks get to Lynn in 6th inning of 3-1 loss SAN DIEGO (AP) — St. Louis' Lance Lynn didn't walk a batter until he put the first two San Diego Padres he faced in the sixth inning on base that way. Yangervis Solarte ended up scoring on Jedd Gyorko's go-ahead single with two outs, and the San Dieg

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • McCarver to join St. Louis Walk of Fame UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (AP) — The St. Louis Walk of Fame already features 10 men who played for the St. Louis Cardinals. Tim McCarver is about to make it No. 11. The former Cardinals catcher and Hall of Fame broadcaster will be inducted Monday on the D

    July 30, 2014

  • Real Madrid Roma Soccer [Duplicate] Fans invade field, disrupt Roma-Real Madrid match DALLAS (AP) — About 20 men, one waving a Palestinian flag, ran on the field in the 87th minute of Roma's 1-0 win over Real Madrid at the Cotton Bowl on Tuesday. The group of mostly young men overwhelmed the match security and delayed the game for a w

    July 30, 2014 4 Photos

  • Rockies Cubs Baseball-3 [Duplicate] Cubs beat Rockies in 16 innings, 4-3 CHICAGO (AP) — Both the Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies ran out of relief pitchers in a marathon game. The Rockies then turned to a starter. The Cubs used a catcher — and won. John Baker scored the winning run in the bottom of the 16th inning after

    July 30, 2014 7 Photos

  • Man charged with killing referee faces key hearing LIVONIA, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit-area soccer player accused of killing a referee with a punch faces a key hearing on a second-degree murder charge. Police and prosecutors say Bassel Saad struck John Bieniewicz (BEN'-uh-wits) June 29 as the 44-year-old

    July 30, 2014

  • Rockies Cubs Baseball [Duplicate] Wada earns first MLB win as Cubs beat Rockies CHICAGO (AP) — After nine seasons in Japan and three years in the minor leagues, Cubs starter Tsuyoshi Wada finally picked up that elusive first major league victory. Wada (1-1) left little doubt to Monday night's outcome, pitching seven strong innin

    July 29, 2014 7 Photos

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National