The Open: Scottie Scheffler watches Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy wins to aid Hoylake challenge

World number one Scottie Scheffler has been watching “valuable” online videos of Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods’ Open wins at Royal Liverpool to help him prepare for this week’s Championship.

McIlroy won the 2014 Open here, while Woods won the 2006 edition.

“I don’t remember much of Rory’s win but I have visited it on YouTube,” Scheffler, 27, told BBC Sport.

“The course was playing pretty similar to the way it is now so it’s a good tournament for me to look back on.”

Scheffler also said that he watched Woods’ victory “just to see the course”.

“I had never seen this course before,” he continued.

“I didn’t really know anything about it, other than the fact that it was really firm and Tiger only hit one driver for the entire week.

“Most of my young memories of Tiger are just watching him win a lot and seeing him make all the putts.

“Anytime I’m coming to a new course, I try to learn something about it before I get there versus just coming in blind. It really is a valuable tool for me.”

The American is playing in his third Open Championship, having finished joint eighth on his debut at Royal St George’s in 2021 and joint 21st last year at St Andrews.

And he had an impressive joint third place at last week’s Scottish Open at Renaissance Club.

“Last week was a good test for this week,” he added. “Renaissance is good warm-up coming into The Open, getting used to the different temperatures, food and time changes.

“It’s a lot of fun to play and seeing different weather and green speeds than I’m used to.”

Mastering the green speeds this week will be a top priority for Scheffler, whose perceived struggles with the flat stick have been well documented and he is ranked 133rd out of 191 on the PGA Tour for putting.

He is number one in many categories between tee and green and ranks highly in other areas, indicating that if he could improve his putting stats he may turn some of his near misses into victories.

To emphasise that fact, he has finished in the top 12 of his past 19 events, winning the PGA Tour’s flagship Players Championship and Phoenix Open events earlier this year.

However, he said: “I think that most of what has to happen is something has to be created into a story, and for a while it didn’t really seem like there was much of a story behind the way I play golf.

“But I think I had back-to-back tournaments that I could have won where I putted poorly.

“All of a sudden it became this thing where I’ll watch highlights of my round, and even the announcers, any time you step over the putt it’s like, well, this is the part of the game he struggles with.

“And if you say it every time and you guys see me miss a 12-footer it’s like, oh, there it is. He’s struggling again.

“I don’t pay attention to it. The things that I’m working on right now I feel very excited about. I’m hitting a lot of good putts.

“Pretty soon, a lot of those good putts will start falling in the middle of the hole instead of dodging around the side of it.”


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