Tony Jacklin has told Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and anyone else who complains about Royal Lytham’s heavy rough to stop “whinging” and get on with trying to win The Open.
The 1969 Lytham champion reckons there’s no point in complaining about the vicious rough and he’s convinced that the pressure is on McIlroy to deliver after poor performances in the Masters and the US Open.
Woods called the rough “unplayable” in places but Jacklin said: “Somebody is going to win, I’ll tell you that. No matter how unplayable it is, somebody will win.
“You really don’t get the guys who are in with a shout complaining about the conditions of golf courses.
“At Muirfield in 1966 when Jack Nicklaus won, they had two stewards on the left and right of every hole and Jack drove with a one-iron all week.
“Tiger won at Hoylake with a one-iron all week. Somebody is going to do it. Somebody will figure it out and get it done.
“It’s just getting your head ‘round it and getting on with it. Whinging won’t get it done.
“I remember the US Open at Hazeltine in 1970 - (he won the title) - when Dave Hill said it was a cow pasture and all it needed was a dozen cows and a couple of tractors there or whatever.
“Golf courses are to be played. They’ve all got used to this golf ball going as far as it does, but you cannot get out of the fact that it’s controlling the golf ball that wins you major championships, and that’s the examination.”
Jacklin is still the last Englishman to win the Open in England and while he’s backing Lee Westwood, Luke Donald or even Ian Poulter to make a run at the Claret Jug, he’s not ruling out an Irish winner.
Jacklin said: “Poulter’s showed his stuff in Ryder Cups, and he’s won the World Matchplay, so he could well do well to say nothing of the lads from Northern Ireland, Graeme McDowell and McIlroy.
“I’m sure McIlroy wants to try and redeem himself a little bit and when I say that I don’t mean it in an unkind way.
“We had great expectations earlier this year at Augusta and the like and the U.S. Open and it didn’t come to much for him, and he is a precocious talent.”
Royal Lytham has been lashed by heavy rain for weak, prompting fears of the first Monday finish since Seve Ballesteros triumphed here in 1988.
Bunkers were flooded on the course 10 days ago but while R&A boss Peter Dawson insisted they would not cut the heavy rough, he admitted that bunkers might have to be pumped out due to the high water table and recent torrential rain.
On the rough, Dawson said: “It’s nature. It grows in the month before the championship. Some years we have a dry summer and you get wispy rough. In wetter, warmish condition you get thick rough and a softer course.
“We don’t cut the rough other than the first and second cut. We have rain, a wet week but we will cope with it.
“Our car park contingency is very strong. There is only one of our car parks that could be a problem and have hard standing contingency elsewhere so we are not into a Silverstone situation.
“We lost a day’s play in 1988 at Lytham but drainage here is much better now. I am not sitting here saying we are not going to have a problem. We might.
“The issue is the water table is very high. They have a pumping station at the far end of Lytham which pumps everything out into the inlet and that had not been switched on.
“Now it is on and pumping furiously, but the whole area here has a very high water table, unprecedented rainfall, never had a summer like it.”