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Scott backs Sunesson to help seal Major success

 

By Carl Markham

Adam Scott has made a deal with himself to be a bit tougher if he gets another chance to win The Open, and hopes caddie Fanny Sunesson can help him across the finish line at Carnoustie this week.

Scott, who famously squandered a three-shot lead with four holes left at the 2012 Open at Royal Lytham and St Anne's - allowing Ernie Els in to win the Claret Jug - persuaded Nick Faldo's former caddie to come out of retirement for one week.

"I think I can put all my experience to good use if I'm in that situation again, and (also) lean on Fanny," the former World No.1 said yesterday.

Sunesson worked for Faldo at two of the Englishman's three Open victories.

She caddied most recently for another Major champion, Henrik Stenson, before retiring in 2012.

Now, six years later, she is back.

"She's a great caddie, and hopefully we can lean on that experience over the weekend, get ourselves in a position where we both want to be and can both thrive under the pressure," said the Australian.

"I thought about the people for this week that I really want standing next to me on the first tee on Sunday if we're in the last group and Fanny was at the top of that list.

"Maybe she was a bit surprised because I don't think she was thinking of caddying. I think she's very much enjoying it."

Not that Scott needs much advice on how to plot his way around Carnoustie.

He has had an estimated 14 practice rounds, but even yesterday was still learning new things in a wind he had not encountered during his fortnight here.

"I don't think it's going to catch me out too much now, (though) I don't think I've got it all sussed," said Scott.

"I feel very comfortable. The best I've played in The Open is when I don't have to pull the yardage book out. I play like it's my home track."

Scott's Major history is not all heartbreak. He rebounded from his 2012 Open collapse to win The Masters nine months later and has vowed not to let it slip should a chance present itself to add a Claret Jug to his Green Jacket.

"I made a deal with myself if I'm in with a chance... be a bit tougher on myself, grind that little bit harder," he said.

Meanwhile, Ian Poulter has a huge couple of months ahead of him with the Ryder Cup looming but insists he has to stay in the present - and that means The Open Championship has his full focus.

Injury forced the Englishman to miss Europe's defeat to the United States at Hazeltine two years ago and, despite a resurgence in form to move back inside the world's top 30, he still remains just outside automatic qualification.

The 42-year-old would appear to be a shoo-in as a wildcard for September's biennial contest at Le Golf National near Paris, but Poulter would like to take uncertainty out of the equation, and a good performance at Carnoustie could do that.

"The run of golf I've got, I've got an opportunity to make it in the eight and, if I don't, I've got an opportunity to potentially get picked," he said. "It's been trending back in the right direction - from being 208th in the world to be back inside the top 30 is progress but there is more progress to make.

"But it's The Open Championship, I can't think about anything else right now.

"You take each day as it comes, play golf, not think about it. I have to continue to do good things, hit the right shots and not make mistakes."

An Englishman has not won The Open since Faldo triumphed at Muirfield in 1992 and, although he has come close - finishing second and third in 2007 and 2013 respectively - Poulter does not feel any increased expectation.

"It's great to play an Open, I don't feel any extra pressure playing in it," he said.

Belfast Telegraph

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