Monday, July 13

My Open Championship Prep

I PREPPED FOR THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP on the weekend, from my couch, in my living room. (I guess you could call me The Couch Golfer, but The Armchair Golfer sounds better. I'm going to stick with it.)

I watched parts of the Scottish Open, the U.S. Women's Open and the John Deere Classic. The results added fuel to what was already a highly anticipated Open Championship at the Old Course in St. Andrews.

Another win for Jordan Spieth.
(Image courtesy of AT&T)
Rickie Fowler charged to a win in Scotland, moving to No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking, a career high. Jordan Spieth won the John Deere Classic in a sudden-death playoff against journeyman Tom Gillis. Spieth already has four wins this season going into the British Open, the first time that's happened since Tiger Woods did it in 2000. The Woods comparisons continue, which says a lot.

Spieth, of course, will be gunning for the third leg of the Grand Slam this week at the Home of Golf. It seems highly improbable to me -- especially without much preparation or experience at St. Andrews -- but at this point I wouldn't rule out anything. The kid has more confidence right now than Titleist has golf balls.

In Gee Chun slipped past 54-hole leader Amy Yang to win the U.S. Women's Open by a stroke at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania. Chun, 20, from South Korea, fired a 66 that included three consecutive birdies on 15, 16 and 17. Her 8-under total of 272 tied the U.S. Women's Open record held by Juli Inkster (1999) and Annika Sorenstam (1996).

With impressive victories at the Players Championship and Scottish Open this season, Fowler is beginning to fulfill the hype that has been as loud as his clothing. Even with world No. 1 Rory McIlroy sidelined and probably regretting his most recent kickabout, this Open will be great theater. A Spieth-Fowler showdown would be grand, but let's not forget other thoroughbreds: Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Justin Rose, Patrick Reed, Louis Oosthuizen, Bubba Watson, Branden Grace, Matt Kuchar, Adam Scott. And there's the old warhorses: Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood, Ernie Els and, dare I say, the ancient five-time Open winner, Tom Watson, who nearly pulled off a miracle in 2009. This is Watson's farewell Open.

Beware of the surprise winner, too. It happens more often than expected. Think Darren Clarke, Todd Hamilton, Ben Curtis and Paul Lawrie.

If my schedule allows (and I think it will), I'll be tuned in for a lot of the coverage this week at St. Andrews. How about you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Folks if you can take a look at the 2000 Open
& notice the exuberance & confidence displayed by a Young Woods.
The Tiger we see now,there is no "bounce" to him.
totally different person and you would understand why Tiger of today
is struggling.