The reputation at Carnoustie is preceding itself in the run up to this years Open. With a final three holes deemed to be one of the most difficult finishes on the Open rotation, could we be about to see another meltdown like the ones we have famously seen come about on this course in the past?
Jean van de Velde: one of the most famous Open Championship meltdowns occurred on this very course. Like every seaside course – and especially one in Scotland – the weather can always play a major obstacle. But with the weather set to be steady between the 19th and 22nd – the four days of the Open Championship – what is it players are getting so nervous about?
At 7,400 yards Carnoustie is the longest course at the Open. But what instils fear into the golfers is the final three holes: known as Barry Burn, Island and Home. It is called Barry Burn for the stream that meanders across sections of the course, featuring heavily on the 17th hole. Island gets its name as it is almost completely surrounded by water.
Golf fans will remember the image of Jean van de Velde with socks and shoes off, wading Barry Burn as his three-shot lead – and the claret jug – slipped away at the last.
Those final three holes have been troubling players since Carnoustie hosted its first ever Open Championship in 1931. This year sees the Scottish course’s eighth time hosting this prestigious event, the 147th Open. Favourites Johnson, Rose, Fowler, McIlroy and every other player taking part over the next four days will no doubt have their mind focused on keeping their cool on the final three holes and avoiding another famous meltdown.
Carnoustie has been the undoing of many a great player, but it can also be where champions are made.