'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.

Video: Perks on winning The Open

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
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x