British OpenJuly 14, 2015

Tiger Woods says Jordan Spieth's St. Andrews simulator practice has one problem

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Jordan Spieth's lack of experience at the Old Course and his lack of time to prepare considering the circumstances has become a much talked-about topic heading into the 144th Open Championship. Spieth, of course, is trying to complete the third leg of the calendar Grand Slam, and he has said his simulator has helped him prepare for St. Andrews.

Tiger Woods thinks that's a good strategy, but there's just one problem: wind.

"You can see the golf course on a simulator and it's fantastic. I've seen it," Woods said on Tuesday. "But playing in the different winds and having to hit the different shots, shaping shots completely differently from one day to the next on the same hole, it does help seeing the golf course under different winds."

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In fact, it's with weather conditions more than with the course itself, where Woods feels veteran players have an advantage this week.

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"I think that's where experience comes into play," Woods said. "You have to hit the ball well. You have to really lag putt well here. But if you haven't seen the golf course in various winds, bunkers that you don't even see on the yardage book because you're not playing it, you don't see it with that wind, all of a sudden become apparent."

Playing into Spieth's favor this week is a softened St. Andrews, the likes Woods hasn't seen since the 1998 Alfred Dunhill Links, which should take out some of the course's subtleties. Working against both of them? The forecast calls for their Friday afternoon rounds to be particularly windy (gusts up to 35 mph) -- and to feature a different wind direction (Southwest) from when they play on Thursday morning (Southeast).

For the weekend, a more westerly wind is expected. In other words, Spieth should be plenty experienced by the time the 2020 Open rolls around. And if not, simulators will probably have figured all of this out.

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