It’s 5:57 in the a.m. and that means one thing, it’s time for some golf!! That’s right sports fans, today marks the first round of the Open Championship. Playing host for the 10th time, is Royal Birkdale in Southport, England. I’m excited!! With a 5-hour time difference from New York, the players have already hit the links. Your early leaders are Ian Poulter and Justin Rose (2 Englishmen) at -2. Expect to see many European players in contention throughout the week. Golf in England, Scotland, and Ireland is a different animal. It is ‘links style’. This means there are less trees but more fescue. And there are fairway bunkers as deep as a basketball hoop. I’ve played golf in Scotland. There’s nothing like hitting a ball right down the middle of the fairway only to find out it ran into a bunker!!
Your most exciting pairing today is Jordan Spieth and Henrik Stenson. They are currently on the course, both standing at -1 thru 5 holes. Jordan Spieth is the #3 ranked golfer in the world, and Henrik Stenson is the defending champion. Last year’s Open Championship was played at Royal Troon in Scotland. Stenson shot a record breaking -20 to win his first Major. Royal Troon is one of the courses I was blessed to play while in Scotland (14 years ago). I’m no professional, but let me tell you, that course is FREAKIN’ HARD!! Granted my dad and I were fresh off the plane, and we played in 40 mph wind, but that course ate me alive. My 12-handicap quickly doubled, as I shot a 96 that day. The sea was angry that day my friends. That’s the worst round of golf I’ve played since I was 12 years old by the way.
As evidenced in the 2017 U.S. Open, golf is struggling to find a consistent superstar to latch onto. This is something the sport of golf has been longing for ever since Tiger Woods disappeared from the scene. It seemed that Jordan Spieth was going to assume the role as the face of golf, but after an incredible 2015 season, Spieth’s game has moved in the wrong direction. He’s still playing at a high level, however, winning 2 Majors in the same year (2015) seems like a lifetime ago. Maybe we were spoiled by Tiger Woods. Or maybe we just enjoy watching history be made right in front of our eyes. Or maybe we feel the need to root for someone, rather than simply just enjoying the event. Or maybe it’s a combination of these 3 things.
Golf isn’t dead, but it’s battery has died, and it needs a jump in order to make it home. The PGA is also pushing another name, Jon Rahm. Rahm is a 22-year old, budding star. He has just 1 PGA tour victory on his resume but is still the 3rd favorite to win this tournament. Yeahhhh, I’d say they want him to win.
I know I’ll be watching this week’s Open Championship, but I’m about the craziest sports fan you’ll ever meet. What about you, the casual sports fan?? Will you be glued to the TV, watching every drive, chip, and putt?? While I hope so, I highly doubt it.
Oh yeah, come Sunday, Jordan Spieth will be hoisting the trophy. Book it!!
Who do you think will win the Open Championship?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.
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