Open 2015: St Andrews hard to beat, says Danny Willett

By Ged Scottat the Old Course, St Andrews
Danny Willett
Danny Willett will be playing in The Open for the fourth time this week
144th Open Championship
Venue: St Andrews Dates: 16-19 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, online, Radio 5 live, sports extra, tablets, mobiles and app.

European Tour star Danny Willett says that the St Andrews atmosphere is hard to match anywhere in the world of golf.

Willett's experience of playing at St Andrews is limited to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship every year.

But he is already fully aware of just how extra special it will be to walk down the 18th hole at the famous Old Course in Open week.

"In terms of atmosphere for a finishing hole it's pretty difficult to beat," Willett told BBC Sport.

"It's always good regardless of how many times you've played here," added the 28-year-old Rotherham golfer.

"You still stop and have a little look round on 18 when you cross the Swilcan Bridge. And it's all now added to by the extra grandstands which are pretty large at the back of 17 and at the back of 18 and down the side.

Afternoon tee time for vicar's son
Danny Willett will tee off at 13:12 BST on Thursday in the company of American Gary Woodland and Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee.
Vicar's son Willett won the first event of the 2015 European Tour season out in South Africa back in December last year when he won the Nedbank Challenge at Sun City by four shots, picking up a winner's cheque for 864,975 euros (£611,100). It was his second Tour win and the first of four top-10 finishes this year to keep him second behind Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai.

"All my experience comes from the Dunhill, so I'll hopefully be playing four days, not just two, as we do in that one."

Willett recorded his best Open finish on Scotland's East Coast when he tied for 15th across the Firth of Forth at Muirfield two years ago.

And he is now second in Europe's 2015 money list and up to 39th in the Official World Golf Rankings - the fourth-highest English player.

But he will tee off at St Andrews on Thursday looking to rid himself of the memory of a year ago when he shot two 74s to miss the cut by two shots at Hoylake.

"Last year was a bit of an odd one," he said. "But my game's in pretty good shape. Every week when we pitch up now, we aim to get somewhere near."

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