Tiger Woods finds his Open return a pain in the neck

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

"But links style golf course, you can roll the ball". We'll get things started with the top-tier players that will cost a pretty penny for your DraftKings fantasy golf picks.

The world No.10 was second at last month's US Open at a slick Shinnecock Hills, finishing with a major record-equaling 63, but he would love nothing more than a Claret Jug to open his major account. The British pro finished just one stroke behind victor Brooks Koepka (+2200) after he shot a brilliant 63 on Sunday, becoming just the sixth player to ever shoot that low at the U.S. Open. "I've been doing this for years, braces and bandages, just that this time it's actually visible", he said. But a tee shot into the rough on the par-4 18th left the Barry Burn standing between him and the green, and his second shot landed in the drink. This was going on the offensive, driving around the course with "Nasty" written on the bottom of his shoes, every step stamping away the notorious difficulty of the place coined "Car-Nasty".

"If I'm going down, " McIlroy said, "I'm going to go down swinging". He has come back and hit the ground running since he has come back after his injury.

Spieth hasn't played stellar golf over the two days, but he's competed brilliantly. He has devoured "The Chimp Paradox", a book offering a mind-management model based around controlling one's inner struggle, and "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less", anchored on methods to regain self-control. "I've never been anywhere near before, but for two rounds I'm up there on the leaderboard".

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"Today was in a way similar to just playing golf at home", Fowler said of the easier, wetter conditions. You've just got to keep a stiff upper lip and prepare yourself for the next Open Championship. "I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th", he said.

Only once did that veneer of serene, thousand-mile stare calmness slip. This is the same player who, after a particularly soggy British Open round at Royal St. George's in 2011, said he was "not a fan of golf tournaments that the outcome is predicted so much by the weather".

The 42-year-old three-time Open champion - who due to back issues had missed the last two editions - admitted afterwards he was suffering from a sore neck but insisted it had not affected his round too much.

He knows better than most what pressure can do in the final throes of majors, and while he is content with his four-under score, his excitable, inner-chimp is being controlled. A lot is going to happen and a lot is going to change over the next 48 hours.

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