Bernd Wiesberger faces 'different beast' in bid to retain Scottish Open title
Austrian says there will be no repeat of low scoring at The Renaissance Club
The fact he was wearing four layers to combat the cold had already made Bernd Wiesberger realise it was going to be different back at The Renaissance Club and he's certainly expecting that to be the case in terms of scoring.
In the first staging of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at the East Lothian venue last summer, the Austrian posted a 22-under-par total before beating Frenchman Benjamin Hebert in a play-off. "It was relatively easy, easier than everybody would have wanted," he admitted of that test.
Back to defend his Rolex Series title, Wiesberger says the Tom Doak-designed course will be no pushover this time around. "I played yesterday and this morning in a bit of wind," he added. "The golf course is a bit longer and not running out quite as much as last year.
"The rough is a little bit thicker, so it makes you be a bit more precise. Last year you could be a bit more lenient and get away with stuff and this year I think it's going to be a bit different. The greens also feel a little bit firmer, and, all of a sudden, you know you're facing quite a different beast.
"When we get the odd week where everything plans out perfect, get somewhat soft-ish golf course with no wind and beautiful weather, then guys are going to take it apart, and that's what happened last year. I'm expecting it not to happen again this year."
Local man Grant Forrest, who has played the course quite a bit recently, shares that opinion. "The fairways are narrower than last year, so that will put a bit more premium off the tee," he said. The greens have been quite a bit firmer as well, which I think for The Renaissance Club is the big defence.
"Last year it almost didn't really matter where the pins were because you could still get it close whereas most of the time I play there it can be really tough to get it close to pins. It will be a different test."
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