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Toms looking forward to Open challenge

David Toms has bad memories of last year's British Open at Muirfield, but still rates the championship as his favourite major.

The American, who plummeted to 83rd and last at Muirfield after leading the 2002 tournament with an opening 67, is in confident mood as he prepares for the year's third major, which takes place at Sandwich next month.

"The British Open is my favourite major, just because I like the style of golf over there and all the history," he told reporters, after firing a seven-under-par 64 for his second PGA Tour title of the season at the St. Jude Classic on Sunday.

"One of my goals this year was to win a golf tournament, and to be able to do it twice is very rewarding.

"My other goal was to finish well in the majors, and I finished top 10 in the first two majors (of 2003)," added Toms, who tied for eighth at the U.S. Masters in April and shared fifth at the U.S. Open this month.

The 36-year-old Toms, who won the PGA Tour's Wachovia Championship last month, said he also relished the unpredictability of the weather at British Opens.

"No matter how good you're playing, you never know what to expect just because the weather conditions can turn," said the world number seven.

"You saw what happened to us last year on Saturday (when driving wind and rain sent the third-round scores spiralling).

"I was leading the golf tournament after the first round, I think I finished last, so you just never know.

"But I kind of like that, kind of the unexpected. You go over there and prepare and play the best you can and you never know what you're going to get."

Toms, who climbed to sixth in the U.S. money list with his three-shot victory at the weekend, will play this week's Western Open at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont, Illinois.

He plans to take the next week off before focusing his attention on the 132nd British Open, taking place at Royal St. George's from July 17-20.

"I don't know anything about it at all," he said, of the Sandwich layout.

"I think there's some blind tee shots from what I've heard, it's tough to get the ball in the fairway, and they said the wind will pull it.

"It seems like a typical British Open. I like it. I enjoy playing golf over there."


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