'It Could Be A Low One' - Fitzpatrick On Open Winning Score

The Englishman was taken aback after hearing how low previous St Andrews winning scores were, although he thinks this year's winning total could be another low one

Matt Fitzpatrick hits a shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 150th Open has finally arrived and the Old Course at St Andrews is looking firm and fast for the world's best players.

The world famous layout last hosted an Open Championship in 2015, when heavy rain forced play into Monday. Thankfully that doesn't look like it's going to happen this year, with the fairways looking nicely browned after a dry lead-up. We've already seen Tiger Woods drive the 18th green in practice and the course is set to be fiery.

But what will the winning score be this week? Typically the scoring has been low around the Old, with four Opens this century producing winning scores of 19-under-par, 14-under-par, 16-under-par and 15-under-par.

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Last month's US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick thinks scoring could once again be low, and revealed that his caddie Billy Foster thinks that 18-under will be the mark. He also said he was taken aback by how low scoring has been in previous St Andrews Opens.

"I've not played the golf course for a couple years now. Obviously, when I've played, it's been in October so it's been soft, or softer. And right now, I think from what I'm hearing here, it's very firm," the Englishman said.

"I think I mentioned last week, speaking to Billy, looking at 4, 5, maybe 6 are drivable. Again, that's calm conditions. So that's probably a bit of a guess from my side, but that definitely changes the dynamic of the golf course.

"Someone asked Billy today, what does he think the winning score is. And I'm like pretty oblivious with most golf history, and he was telling, I think Louis won on minus 15 [Oosthuizen's score was 16-under]. Someone won on 18. Someone won on 16 or something. I was taken aback by how low the scores were, like I didn't think it would be that low.

"I think with it being firm and par-4s more gettable, it could be a low one as well, weather permitting."

Matt Fitzpatrick currently ranks a career-best 10th in the world. His best Open Championship finish was a T20 in 2019.

Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x