British Open: Monday musings

mulligan, 18 July 2005, Comments Off on British Open: Monday musings
Categories: Uncategorized

After a train, plane, cab, and bus ride, I had time to reflect more about The Open Championship. I agree with Douglas’s post below: there’s no need to talk about the “Big Five” anymore. It’s back to Tiger and everyone else.

Some final tap-ins about The Open:

1. Sorry, Jack: Tiger Woods will be forever linked and compared to Jack Nicklaus. In ways that would be fitting of a Greek epic, Jack’s poignant farewell at St. Andrews was punctuated by Tiger Woods’ reassertion of power and the claim to be the most dominant player in golf (sorry, Annika). This was the passing of the torch — Tiger’s now passed the halfway point to Jack’s record 18 majors. Tiger should thank Jack for retiring this year because The Open wouldn’t have been at St. Andrews (Tiger’s all-time favorite course) this year, except to honor Jack. Instead, Tiger effectively knocked Jack out of the tournament by raising the cut line — had Tiger not been playing, Colin Montgomerie’s 7-under would have been top score and Jack would’ve made the cut on the 10-shot rule. Sorry, Jack.

2. Thanks, Jack: Jack Nicklaus is a true class act. After his farewell dinner at St. Andrews, which ended around midnight, he reportedly invited some of the 50 or so fans who had waited for more than 5 hours to join him inside. He graciously signed autographs for the fans, even some of the £5 notes issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland to honor him.

3. Oldies, but goodies. Hats off to fine showings from these “experienced” golfers: Tom Watson (-1), Greg Norman (+1), Sandy Lyle (-3), Bernhard Langer (-7), Tom Lehman (-4). All of you beat (except 1 tied) Phil Mickelson (+1). Especially Sandy, it was good to see you back on the leaderboard.

4. Sean O’Hair. Wow, what can you say about this 23-year-old PGA tour rookie? 2nd at Doral, 1st last week at John Deere, tied for 15th at The Open this weekend. The guy is built like a tooth pick (6’2″, 165 lbs), but his swing is solid. Can he give Tiger a challenge in two years?

5. Golf friends. What is amazing about golf is, no matter what level of player you are, you can make new golf friends based just on the common bond of enjoying this fine sport. I met a number of Scottish people (at restaurants, on the course, and on the street) who impressed me with their golf knowledge, as well as friendliness and hospitality. Caryn and Chris, my hosts for the tournament at the incredibly charming Annandale Guest House, you have my deepest gratitude for a great stay. I also met a number of serious golf fans from the U.S., U.K., and Canada. I hope we keep in touch, although you are probably sick of hearing about “blogging.”


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