THE Open

16 July 2016 (JFK Airport, NYC) Waiting for a flight to take me to Edinburgh to the hallowed links of that magical land. It is my fifth pilgrimage to the home of golf. As I wait for my flight I catch up on the days happenings at Royal Troon (that I was unable to see because it is a travel day) and immediately note that the Swede Henrik Stenson has overtaken Phil hitting laser-guided iron shots on the back-9. Spieth is out of the picture and was quoted as saying our 2016 expectations are unfair based on his 2016 performances. It was the press not he that proclaimed him the next Tiger Woods (thus making Tiger’s career run all the more impressive). Rory breaks his 3-wood with a wild post-shot fling of the club and still makes par. Rory, take it from me, you can’t break a club on a hole you par lad. This is just not good club breaking etiquette (has to be at least a snowman or snowman plus). And now there is Sunday in what looks to be a 2 man battle between Phil and Stenson. For me, I prefer a European–preferably a Scot of Irishman to win the Open just like I prefer Americans winning the US Open. I’m territorial that way. So I suppose I pull for Stenson tomorrow but he is a Swede! And, he could become the first Swede EVER to win the Open. But this is Phil and Phil could become one of the oldest major winners in the history of the game. Maybe I pull for Phil? Even better is that my flight arrives in Edinburgh at 7:30 am and Edinburgh is a mere 2 hour drive from Troon. Me thinks a pilgrimage is in order, no? In conclusion, I baited you with the title THE Open and I stand by that proclamation. I know many of you will disagree but links golf is golf in its purest form. Sure the Masters is great but I, like Trevino, have issues with Augusta. The US Open is grand and always culminates on Father’s Day but super charging the greens to add difficulty seems a tad constructed. The PGA is the PGA and will always feel a bit LESS special than the other 3 majors but I would argue they play an amazing circuit of courses. Give me the links, the wind, the rain, and the har. It is a natural imposition of difficulty not so much based on the concrete-hard greens created by grounds crews. It could only be enhanced by making tour players wear kilts and play with hickory clubs. Now there’s an idea. See you in Scotland.

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