CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (Reuters) - American Luke List sung from the same songsheet as Tiger Woods when he urged the United States Golf Association on Sunday to take a leaf out of the R&A’s book over how to prepare a major championship venue.
List wrapped up his maiden British Open appearance on Sunday with a closing two-under-par 69 for a two-over tally of 286 before heaping praise on the way the tournament organizers had set up the fearsome Carnoustie links layout this week.
“The R&A did an amazing job,” the 33-year-old told Reuters in an interview. “I really think the USGA should take some note.
“The USGA tends to overdo golf courses (for the U.S. Open). This is my first British Open but you don’t hear any complaints generally from the players.
“I just feel it was a fair test. You’ve got some tight pins but the course is set up perfectly and the greens were never out of control,” said List.
The USGA were criticized for allowing luck, rather than skill, to flourish during last month’s U.S. Open when they placed the flags on fiendishly tricky slopes on the greens, especially in Saturday’s third round.
Former world number one Woods also praised the Royal & Ancient’s handling of Carnoustie earlier this week.
“One of the neat things about playing the Open championship is that they don’t care what par is,” he said.
“They let whatever Mother Nature has...if it’s in store for a wet Open, it is, if it’s dry, it’s dry. They don’t try to manufacture an Open.”
List agreed wholeheartedly with Woods’s assessment after ending up in the middle of the pack at golf’s oldest major.
“Carnoustie is a good test,” he said. “Some of the leaders might get to 12 or 15-under-par later today but that’s fine.
“You’ve got some tight pins out there but the course is set up perfectly.”
List is something of a late developer, having only gained his PGA Tour card six years ago.
This season has been a standout campaign for the 6-foot-2 Florida professional, who has four times finished in the top-five without managing to achieve a breakthrough first regular tour win.
“I’ve been around the game for a while and I’m no spring chicken any more,” said List, who tied third at last week’s Scottish Open at Gullane.
“My form’s been a little better in the last couple of years so I’m excited to look forward.
“I feel I’ve started to have a very stable life off the course. I’ve got a great wife, a great support system around me, a great caddie and I’ve been working hard to gain some confidence,” said List.
“I’ve also got quite a bit of self belief from my good results. It’s nice to see the hard work paying off.”
Editing by Toby Davis