2016 Scottish Open: Russell Knox says Castle Stuart set-up is 'goofy golf'

By Tom EnglishBBC Scotland at Castle Stuart
Russell Knox
Russell Knox shot a level-par 72 in his opening round of the Scottish Open

This was the day that Castle Stuart took vengeance on those who saw it as something of a soft touch.

Instead, amid winds that got stronger as the day got longer, it became a hard grind for the best of them in the opening round of the Scottish Open.

Russell Knox was a mixture of contentment and weariness after his level-par 72 in the opening round of the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart.

"It felt like we were out there for about 10 hours," Knox said.

Trooping in after five and a hours spent fighting 25-30mph winds, Knox was three behind the pace, but it could have been a whole lot more had he not kept himself together at the tail end of the draw and in the most difficult conditions of the day.

"It was about as windy as you can play golf in. It was a long ,long day. Tricky conditions. I'm going to sleep good tonight."

'It was goofy golf'

Knox was happy, but also frustrated. He levelled criticism at the way par-5 18th hole was set-up, a brute that played directly into the wind.

"It was a terrible set-up on that hole in my opinion. It was 600 yards (actually it was 607 yards) into a 30mph wind. They could have moved the tee up. I disagree with that hole. I hit three good shots and then three bad putts (for a bogey six).

"All day you had to put so much thought into every shot. You know, 140 yards into a 25mph wind plays 180 yards. We were constantly thinking and that makes it hard.

"It was very close to being unplayable. On a couple of the exposed holes the ball was moving a little bit. They could quite easily have stopped it.

"Our group backed off putts about ten times. It took five and a half hours but I don't think we could have played much faster."

An illustration of the havoc the wind was causing came again on the 16th and 17th holes, the former a 337-yard par 4 and the latter a 226-yard par 3.

"I needed to hit more club on the par 3 than I did on the par 4. That shows you. It was goofy golf, but I hung in there. I'm happy but I've got to go out and do it again."

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