Rory McIlroy hopes teenage mindset will open path to ending drought

After outlining his plan to grab Carnoustie by the scruff of the neck and blast his way up the leaderboard at The Open this week, Rory McIlroy looked to be enduring a frustrating final practice on the eve of golf's most prestigious tournament. "You can never hit them on the green from them".

Bubba Watson brought his unique brand of golf in a fascinating debut in The Open Zone at Carnoustie.

The Open will be Woods' 12th tournament of the year in his comeback from a spinal fusion 15 months ago, and his return has been a work in progress, sometimes two steps forward and one step back.

" There were times when I didn't think this was possible but, lo and behold, here I am in my third major this year".

"Each tournament I keep coming back to, I keep feeling a little bit better because I'm starting to play some golf again".

For example. Players such as Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka have suggested they will hit numerous drivers in attempt to blow tee shots over troublesome bunkers and take their chances with rough that is not almost as penal as expected.

"You're going to see a lot of guys hit the ball a long way without a lot of club", Woods said.

A 14-time major victor, Woods has played two previous Opens at Carnoustie, tying for seventh in 1999 and tying for 12th in 2007. He's also finished no worse than fifth in his last three Opens, including his win at Liverpool.

"I enjoy this type because it is so creative". "It's just not going to happen with wind conditions, with pins".

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"You can't click into this style of golf quickly, especially when the fairways are as fast as they are now", he told BBC Sport.

"I feel like I play my long irons pretty well".

There's a thought process that players shouldn't get too close to each other for fear of that dulling some edge off of their competitiveness - particularly when they're battling one another. Instead, most of his shots are with a 3-iron or 4-iron. "There's no good reason why I can't win a major".

"There's so many great players, and it just seems like, at this point in time, they're all playing really good golf at the same time", said McIlroy, the 2014 Open champion, on Wednesday.

Rory McIlroy admits it is going to take something special to end the recent dominance of the majors by American golfers as the British Open tees off at Carnoustie in Scotland on Thursday.

The young quartet of major holders Spieth, Koepka, Patrick Reed (Masters) and Justin Thomas (PGA Championship) are expected to be in contention as they look to extend the USA winning run to six majors. We're not going to get the most ideal bounces.

Reed said his challenge was "getting a bit more comfortable with landing the ball short and letting it run" and adjusting to "hitting a 90% six iron 260 yards when back home I'm hitting a three wood".

And those playing in the stronger winds on Thursday afternoon look set to get a little wet on Friday morning with predicted rain showers blowing away by mid-afternoon.

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