This year’s British Open was a spectacular event in so many different ways.
First of all, I absolutely loved all the bunkers that Royal Lytham & St. Annes has to challenge the best players in the world. The bunkers would even be fair for a 15- to 20-handicap golfer from 6,000 yards as opposed to the 7,300 yards that the professionals played from. Each golfer had to hit golf shots that were somewhat accurate or deal with those severely penal bunkers.
In the final round last Sunday, Tiger Woods saw the Claret Jug slip away by hitting his approach shot from 240 yards out deep in a greenside bunker.
After it was all said and done, the great Woods made a complete mess of the sixth hole and posted a 7 on his card.
This wasn’t the week for the long bombers. This was the week for the accurate golfer and the patient golfer. It was very satisfying to see that the strategy around Lytham wasn’t bomb-and-gouge as it is most weeks on the PGA Tour.
The drama was so great on the back nine.
Ernie Els, also known as the Big Easy, played his hand beautifully. He only took the high-risk shots at the very end of the championship. His aggressive play at the end was remarkable to say the least. In a major championship the stakes are high, and a lot of champions prevail due to their composure.
The conditions were tough and compounded by the pressure of trying to win the oldest championship in all of golf. The great lesson to be taken from this championship is the Yogi Berra motto, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”
Most observers will say that Adam Scott totally gave away the championship. My observation is that you compete to the very end and hope for the best. I must say that Scott was a very gracious athlete considering what happened to him.
I love to see great sportsmanship exhibited in defeat. It is a better barometer than viewing an athlete in
victory. I never did like Vince Lombardi’s motto, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” The great game of golf has once again put on a show for the ages. I’m already looking forward to the last major in August, the PGA Championship.
Golf tip of the week: For golfers trying to break 92 for the first time. Practice the pitch-and-run shot from 30 yards off the green.
Rule of the week: Rule 13- Ball played as it lies (13-2). A player must not improve or allow to be improved his lie or stance by pressing a club on the ground behind his ball or by pressing down with his foot.