Just a couple of quick thoughts from the British Open:
1. Our rush to anoint Rory McIlroy as the next Tiger is laughable, and I mean nothing against Rory when I say that. The kid is a bad-ass, no doubt, but good lord . . . it took until late in the 3rd round for the broadcast to stop forcing his mediocre play onto our eyeballs. Just like anyone else on tour, he’s not gonna dominate week in and week out. Tiger is the only guy that was able to do that, and “talent” was only a fraction of what made that possible.
But I guess what I hope is even more clear now – without Tiger around, there is nothing more futile than trying to predict a major winner before the tournament starts. I think ol’ Adam may have even put money on Luke Donald, which seems logical given his #1 ranking, recent victory and stellar play . . . the thing is, that all ultimately means nothing. Look at the last year or two of major tournament winners – McDowell, Oosthuizen, Kaymer, Schwartzel, McIlroy, Clarke (ouch, America). All of these guys were out of the blue, no way anybody picked them to win it. To the media: let’s stop trying.
2. I hate to say it, but I might be temporarily “over” the British Open (unless it’s at St. Andrews). I appreciate the history of the game and I dig the fans over there, etc., I just don’t really care to watch that style of golf on TV. Well, of course I care to watch it, but I don’t think it’s up to par with the Masters from a pure golf viewing standpoint. More often than not, the only way I know a shot is good is because the announcers have told me so. I know these pros are incredible, obviously, but too often it seemed that their “touch” was more of a random roll-out on a green that was never part of a precisely planned shot. And of course, the fact that one group can play a round in a tsunami and then two hours later another group is throwing lawn darts into a 0 mph wind always strikes me as odd. As my buddy Craig pointed out, perhaps the fact that Tom Watson is a semi-legit threat to win the thing every year is all the evidence needed to suggest that this tournament isn’t exactly golf’s greatest test.
3. I’m guessing it’s impossible for anyone to be unhappy that Darren Clarke won this thing. He is known to be a great guy, and by all accounts appears to be just that as you watch him make his way around the course. I was actually proud of both him and our boy Dustin Johnson when they were cracking up together at various points during the round. I always wonder if most pro golfers have little to no sense of humor, OR if golf coverage has just always failed to let us in on the real deal.
4. Gotta love me some Rickie Fowler. Everyone’s knee-jerk reaction upon seeing him and his outfits is that he must be some kind of annoying little Teen Beat brat. In reality he’s tough as nails, as we saw at the last year’s Ryder Cup, and his swing is insanely cool. If I could somehow convince him to bend the brim of his hat, he might have a new gold member of his fan club. Also gotta give a shout-out to Dustin Johnson, as I think he has separated himself a bit from the crew of young US guys. And finally, good to see Anthony Kim back on his game . .. looked like he was maybe the only one taking himself seriously out there, proving he still thinks he’s nasty, which is a good thing.
5. I don’t recall seeing one mallet putter while watching this tournament. Everybody had the old fashioned blade putter . . . was the 2-ball/Futura/Waffle Iron putter just a fad that has run its course? I’ll keep an eye out in future tournaments and get back to you. Wow, what a cliffhanger . . .