2014 Open Championship
Royal Liverpool Golf Club
I was stuck in my office for the first two rounds of the Open Championship with only a pair of headphones and an internet connection to keep me in tune with the happenings. It was actually quite enjoyable to listen to the Open’s radio crew, a nice perspective from some fine chaps. I’d much rather have this commentary than american golf announcers.
Television coverage here in the USA of the Open was okay. Fortunately less of the golf-unknowing ESPN announcers were on the call this time around. One announcer, I think Scott Van Pelt, was so informative in letting me know that Rory McIlory was hitting an iron off the tee. Yeah, like I couldn’t see that myself. Thanks man.
One thing they did manage well was not covering Tiger, who was not a factor at any point. So for that I’m thankful. The one bit of Tiger coverage I did see was him digging in a gorse bush!
Why not start my player commentary with the winner? McIlory’s ball striking was “on” this week. When he is on, nobody on the planet can beat Rory in my opinion, not even Tiger at his best. Rory’s swing is a thing of beauty when his timing is great, like this week. After the first two 66’s I thought we were in for another lapping of the field like in Rory’s U.S. Open and PGA Championship wins. He did make it interesting by not going much lower on Sunday, combined with Sergio Garcia making a run.
I was a Tiger fan, call me a bandwagon jumper if you want, during his peak and I’m certainly a Rory fan now. I guess I’m a fan of good golf when it comes down to it.
I was very impressed and happy for Rory. Well played young lad.
I posted last week the question, “will Tiger Woods make the cut?” I asked it because I had doubts that he would, while others were asking whether he would win. In fact, Tiger did barely make it with a birdie on the 18th Friday to hit it on the number.
Tiger’s first round 69 was a good round, but one good round does not a tournament make. He followed up the 69 with rounds of 77-73-75 and finished 4th from last place.
Tiger is not “back,” at least not yet. His finish this week moved him down in the world rankings from #7 to #9. Realistically, he’s not playing even top 50 golf right now.
Two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson missed the cut and was apparently not polite to the fans and not complementary to the course or event. See this article: http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/bubba-watson-2014-british-open
Somehow I’ve become a semi-fan of Ian Poulter. I dig his candidness and honesty on his social networks. He wants to be a world class player. I’m sure he’d be the first to admit that his performance in the majors isn’t up to what he aspires to. Perhaps he needs to pretend it is the Ryder Cup?
Perhaps the most disappointing cut missed was Miguel Angel Jimenez. The color and fun he adds to an event is unmatched. Someday I hope to meet him and smoke a cigar with him!
Other notable cut-missers: Webb Simpson, Luke Donald K.J. Choi, Ernie Els, and Lee Westwood.
Perhaps the major train has left the building for Westwood?
Luke Donald was once ranked #1 in the world. His performance in majors is awful. It has to be all in his head. His golf swing is so good.
Guess what player is the only one in the Open to have shot all four rounds in the 60’s? I’ve poked a lot of fun at Rickie Fowler and his traffic cone orange outfits he wears on Sunday, but he has gained total respect from me in the majors this year. He has been right there, quite close to breaking through. It may just be a matter of time before he gets his first major win.
Fowler finished tied for 2nd with Sergio Garcia.
Speaking of Sergio Garcia, he put on quite a run Sunday. He put some pressure on Rory. I think he was far enough back that he didn’t feel any pressure.
Phil Mickelson made the cut and finished a solid tie for 23rd. Not much going on for Phil this week, except some fun videos of him hitting flops shots at the Scottish Open the week before.
Royal Liverpool looked soft and green, not exactly the “links” golf conditions I’d hoped for. Players were actually backing up shots, which on a links course is not common. There was very little wind, and a tiny bit of rain on Saturday. The course had no teeth, producing 45 players with under-par scores.
I’m sure it is a great links course, but this week Royal Liverpool was a little too easy in my opinion. A little more solid wind would have made the event a little more riveting. Mother nature failed on this one.
Now that the Open is over my heart is a little sunk. The golf season is ¾ of the way over, for the pros and for myself. Winter will be coming here and pretty soon I’ll be staring out the window at snow on the ground.
Guess I’d better get in as much golf as I can between now and then.
The Scottish Open is this week, along with the Women’s British Open. What a great time of year, where we golfers over the pond get to watch REAL golf for a change, links golf. Links golf is not the over-watered, over-fertilized, over-soft resort golf we have here in the USA. The ball bounces and rolls forever over there. Creativity and imagination are required to play well in real golf, unlike much of the dart board style golf we have here where we can hit 4-irons at the pin and the ball sticks within three feet…
Given how hard the ground is over there on Scottish courses, I’m not all that surprised at all that Rory McIlory could drive a par-4 green which was 436 yards. At Carnoustie last year I hit a 5-iron for my second shot on the par-4 15th hole from 255 yards. I was past pin high. Just imagine if you could tee off down the runway of an airport with a tail wind. That’s Rory’s shot. Still, the feat is very impressive. Here’s the video below:
McIlory apparently told Ian Poulter, who was in the group in front of him, that he hit 3-wood off the tee. Hehe. I still think when his swing is “on” and his timing is right, there’s no better ball striker on the planet than Rory McIlory.
Phil Mickelson won last year’s Scottish Open, prior to winning the (British) Open Championship. Phil is the only guy I can think of that can actually hit lob wedges on real links courses. Now there’s a video challenge of some sort where players see if they can flop one over a cardboard cutout of Phil:
Speaking of Phil and his short game, during a practice round a fan captured Phil hitting a backward flop shot. Unreal.
DIRECTV’s HD Mix Channel (701) will offer four views of the tournament: the network (ESPN/NBC) feed (702), Featured Group 1 (703), Featured Group 2 (704) and a Featured Hole (705). Each bonus channel can be tuned full-screen at the touch of a button and will have a team of announcers. The Mix will also be available during all weekend coverage of the tournament on the HD Sports Mix (205 and 600). While viewing any channel, viewers will also have access to an interactive menu of features through the red color key on the remote. They include: Player Scorecard with key bio info, player headshots, scores and stats, add a player to a favorites list; and Pairings and Tee Times, all the groups and tee times for the current round.