Date: July 18, 2016
Author: Martin Blake, Royal Troon

Drought extends as Aussies crawl to line

Everyone talks about the Masters drought that was broken by Adam Scott at Augusta in 2013, but what about the Open Championship drought?

Australia's last Open winner was Greg Norman in 1993, 23 years ago, and none of the 11 Aussies who teed it up at Royal Troon this year came remotely close to winning.

Jason Day was the best of them, finishing one-over par and just outside the top 20, but even he was rarely in touch. The world No. 1 carded an even-par 71 today, finishing one-over for the tournament.

“Obviously I need to improve the short game,” Day said.

“I think the short game let me down this week. I didn't hole the putts that I needed to out there and obviously when I put myself in opportunity situations with regards to driving greens and getting around the greens, I didn't get up and down for birdies.

“The same thing, when I missed greens, I didn't really save myself a lot. The back nine is difficult, but you've just got to play good. If you don't play good on the back side, you're not going to win the tournament.

“Obviously I came here to try and win the tournament, and I obviously didn't do that.”

Day was caught on the wrong side of the draw with a morning tee time on Thursday and then an afternoon start on Friday, trapped in the worst of the weather.

But he was philosophical about what is a fundamental part of links golf.

“It depends on what wave you were on, but that's one thing that I've learned over the years is that the weather can have a big impact obviously how you play that week.

“I said it yesterday, myself, Rory (McIlroy) and Jordan (Spieth) were kind of on the bad side. So it's just if you call it unlucky, it may be unlucky, but you've got to embrace it and try to play good.

“We're all here to try to do one job and that's win, and unfortunately this is the only major championship where you have to battle the elements and if we're playing in America, usually it storms and there's lightning and we get off the course. But we play through pretty much anything here.”

Matt Jones holed out for eagle at the par-four 13th hole on his way to a 71 to finish at four-over. Adam Scott had a decent day with a closing 71 to finish five over, while Marc Leishman's 73 left him seven over par. Scott Hend (76 today) and Greg Chalmers (85) both struggled to the finish line.