The Open Championship

I’m not really much of a golf fan, beyond recognizing some names and seeing them on virtual leaderboards when I play some Tiger Woods golf on console. That being said, I do kinda watch the majors, and especially when the major is The Open (The British Open, for us Yanks) and it’s at St. Andrews.

And so right now we might have the kind of interesting sportsy thing that captures the attention and imagination of non-fans going on.

Right now, because of weather delays, they’re just finishing the third round on a Sunday. They’ll play the final round tomorrow. But…

–There are a ridiculous number of golfers within 3 shots of the lead as I type this. Like…maybe 20 golfers or more. That’s just insane. 20 or more guys have a legit chance to win tomorrow.

–Jordan Spieth, the young American golfing prodigy, is one off the lead. He’s already pocketed two majors this year. Could be the first guy since…I dunno, the 1950s or something, to win the first three majors of a grand slam in the same year.

–an amateur from Ireland sits atop the leaderboard. Really. Another amateur is within 3 of the lead in the clubhouse.

Tomorrow could be that rarest of things: a really interesting, compelling 18 holes of golf to watch!

That does sound like an uncommonly interesting final round. Too bad it’s so hard to find time on a Monday to devote to watching. But that would be really exciting if Spieth can keep his run going.

Looks like three tied for first at -12, including amateur Irish golfer Paul Dunne.

Spieth at -11.

Two more at -10, with two still on the course.

Another group at -9.

Cavalry charge tomorrow.

Also, the reason why the tournament has been delayed is due to…wind! On Saturday the wind was so strong and the greens were cut so short that the wind was moving balls on the green. The wind moved a ball for one player so he had to drop on the green, and he dropped and the wind blew the ball about four feet further away from the hole. What was a routine two-footer became a challenging six-footer.

The problem is the players hit the ball so far they are hitting second shots into greens with a half-wedge on some holes, making them easy, so they made the greens slicker to make it harder to putt, but when the wind kicks up the balls won’t stay still.

Golf technology (clubs and balls) has outgrown some of these old courses. A course like St. Andrews just doesn’t provide the challenge wanted in an Open Championship now. It’s a problem.

Spieth also won both the Masters and the US Open this year. The British Open would be 3/4 of the way to the Grand Slam, with only the PGA left. The closest Tiger ever got to that was winning all of them in a row, but not in the same year.

Yes, someone should’ve said.

Ben Hogan was the last guy to win the first three majors, and that was the early 50’s. Tiger’s Tiger Slam is still remarkable. I don’t think anyone else has held the cups to all four majors since Bobby Jones, back in the '30’s, and that was a far different era, probably less competitive than now. So hats off to Tiger, and go Jordan! Let’s see history made!

I also learned this morning that Hogan couldn’t complete the four tournaments for a slam that year as The Open and the PGA Championship had their schedules overlap and you had to pick one or the other to play it seemed and the PGA was match play back then. Also, while looking it up just now, I found out the PGA in 1953 was played at Birmingham Country Club in Birmingham, MI. Wow, neat. That was almost in my back yard growing up (well 15 miles or so).

I almost took a vacation day to watch the coverage today as I really look forward to the morning weekend coverage once a year, but I will have to settle for watching it delayed when I get home this year.

This is just so wrong on many levels, ask any pro golfer in the world if they want to win The Open at The home of Golf and without doubt the answer would be yes.

The bridge over the 17th is 700 years old. The course was first played in the 1400’s.

There are 29 players within 5 shots of the leader, that is just amazing and makes for a really close game where anyone could win it. THe 3rd day leader is an amateur so if it is so easy why aren’t the pros leading?

It is not often we get 50mph+ winds here.

Golf in general has become boring, big smack, short wedge and putt. No course mangement on many courses and these links ones require it. It’s a different sort of game and great at that.

Having golf course set up at 8000 yards with 570 yard par 5’s and 500 yard par 4’s and greens like billiard tables is so not the way to go imo, The PGA and US open fall in to that trap time and time again and end with it being a lottery on who wins.

I got my handicap down to 7 doing that, big bomb as far as possible and manage the outcome, playing courses like St Andrews are great challenges and long may they continue

It’s all happening.

Spieth with a missed putt on 17 and doesn’t make it into the playoff.

Zach Johnson wins it.

I never said that winning the Open isn’t coveted by players. Not sure where you got that. I said the course isn’t as challenging as it used to be. Look at the scores, and those low scores even include that one day of crazy weather. The course has lost a lot of its challenge.

The course is very charming. I’m not saying it should be changed. But you do have players hitting driver-wedge on too many par 4’s.

You also said that–and I quote–“It’s a problem.”

Based on this championship and what we saw today, I’m going to guess you’d like that one back. Might be one of the face-palmier things said on this forum in a while. (Yes, I read Joe Posnanski too. He’s wrong. There’s a reason he mostly writes about baseball.)

I’ll stand by my comment. It doesn’t mean that the final round wasn’t exciting. Close finishes are always exciting, especially in a major.

I mean it’s a problem as in it makes the course too easy. Too many of the holes have lost a lot of the challenge they used to have. It’s the same thing that happened at the Masters, which led to them lengthening the course. I’m not suggesting that St. Andrews be altered in any way. I am suggesting that the course plays easier now than it used to because the players are able to hit the ball further, and to me that’s a problem. It’s not much fun watching players hit a half-wedge onto the green on a par four.

I see what you are saying but most of the US PGA course involve a big drive and then a 9 iron or less to the green but without the massive greens, undulating fairways and massive bunkers.

Golf as a whole needs a realignment re equipment and distance versus course but to say not to use St Andrews as an Open venue is sheer madness :D.

Again, I never said not to use the course. I’m not sure how my comment about the course no longer being as difficult as it was and how I see that as a problem meant I was recommending St Andrews be removed from the Open rotation. It’s a historic course and I always enjoy seeing players play it in the Open. They did alter the Road hole this year, making it 40 yards longer, so it’s not as if they are close-minded about making changes to the course. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more changes in the future.

They also cut the greens shorter this year than they normally have them for links golf. The made the problem with the wind worse on Saturday when they had to cancel play, in part, because the balls were not sitting still on the green but were oscillating. In trying to make the course play tougher they created a new problem.

No you miss what I am saying, while the course is a tad short even longer courses are not long enough to do away with a driver and wedge in general, meaning there are lots of courses that are not long enough and still used or they become stupid 8000+ monster courses and then give too much of an advantage to the biggest hitters.

Cutting the greens short is the same as pretty much every other Major does so not unusal, what was unusal was 50mph winds even in Scotland in the summer time. Using a rare occurence as a reason not to host it there is not the way to go really.

All courses make changes when hosting tournaments so again not unusual.

For me the Tournament was great and I saw nothing to make me think St Andrews shouldn’t host a Major ever again, hopefully sooner rather than later.

St Andrews is in a rotation with other historic courses. I believe they get another Open in five years. Nothing about that will change.

Just started playing golf a month ago and now I am looking for streams where to watch the pros… There are some videos on Youtube, but totally random and hard to find. Where can I get a fix?