Scott Jamieson is ready to “man up” as he prepares to tackle Carnoustie – the toughest course on the Open Championship rota. Like many others, the Glaswegian is a huge fan of the Angus venue and is excited about tackling it for the first time dressed up for a major as opposed to the Dunhill Links on the European Tour.
“I rate it as a complete test of golf,” said Jamieson, who is flying the Saltire this week along with Sandy Lyle, Russell Knox, Grant Forrest, pictured below, and amateur Sam Locke. “It’s a bit like Paris National, where there is no escaping the challenge on certain holes. You’ve just got to ‘man up’ and hit the golf shot. There’s no bail outs on a lot of holes. You’ve just got to decide what you are going to do and commit to it.”
The 34-year-old, who is making his fourth appearance in the event, added: “I enjoy it, having learned how to play it over the years. Going on previous Opens, the rough has been pretty brutal, but it’s actually not too bad this week.
“I think some of the strategy this week, in fact, will be similar to the Dunhill Links in that we will be able to hit tee shots into the rough to get the best angle into certain greens. I think I’ll be hitting a few more drivers than I was thinking, even though the fairways are very firm and fast.”
Jamieson secured his Open debut at Royal St George’s in 2011 at the 11th hour, winning one of the spots up for grabs in the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart the previous week. This time, he has been able to prepare a bit better, having known he was in the field since finishing 26th in last season’s Race to Dubai. “I was able to pretty much base my whole year around this week and it’s nice to have that forward planning,” he admitted. “At St George’s, due to getting in at the last minute, it was odd being there for my first Open Championship and not really being energised by it due to the nature of how I got in.
“The last two weeks have been good preparation as the courses for both the Irish and Scottish Opens were fast and bouncy. The greens were firmer at Ballyliffin than Gullane, where they were a bit softer. They’re not overly firm at Carnoustie – yet. I’m looking forward to getting going here.
“I have some lofty goals for the week. I’ve not had a great year so far but a top-20 finish would maybe take care of my Tour card and a top ten might open some doors in the US, including the Web.com Tour at the end of the year. There’s a lot to play for, so I’ve got plenty of motivation.”
Jamieson was speaking at nearby Montrose Links, where he joined six young golfers nominated by the Winning Scotland Foundation, a charity that helps young people develop confidence, ambition and resilience, to take part in an event being run by one of his sponsors, digital currency company LIFElabs.io.
“It is so important to grow the next generation of golfers and I’m delighted to be involved in trying to do that through this initiative,” he said. “It is great to see the young kids of all ages and all standards out there. Obviously it’s important to produce golfers of elite standard but getting golfers in general is key as well.
“I am always trying to help Paul Lawrie and Stevie Gallacher out whenever I can. They are dedicating a lot of time and effort to help grow the next generation through their foundations and hopefully there’s a bright generation coming through.”