St Andrews. The name alone seems to invoke memories of Golf’s glorious past.
When I visited St Andrews in 1994, I was awed by the ghosts that surround you. From my perspective Bobby Jones, Walter Hagan and Old Tom Morris were right around the corner. The visit to this medieval Scottish town was among the most enjoyable experiences of my young life.
This year’s Open Championship could be among the most memorable of our lifetime. Jack Nicklaus, the greatest golfer of all time is biding farewell to Major Championship golf this weekend. Nicklaus chose the home of golf as the appropriate place for his exit. While American fans often times look at Scottish seaside courses as cow pastures, the ability to understand and play links golf is a talent all its own. Each major championship has a distinct feel: The Masters with its beautiful landscape and wide open fairways along with tricked up greens. The US Open is the toughest test of Golf imaginable with deep rough, narrow fairways and sometimes it has been claimed by many a tour pro, doctored greens which are used to maximize high scoring. The British Open is classic links golf, and the PGA Championship is often times a last desperate attempt to qualify for the Ryder or Presidents Cup.
Tiger Woods is a clear favorite this week. He won the last Open at St. Andrews by 9 shots. Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson have slumped this year in majors, but the course sets itself up well for Mickelson. In 1995, when John Daly won the Open at St. Andrews, reigning U.S. Open Champion Michael Campbell finished a stroke back with both Vijay Singh and Ernie Els, both years away from their prime finishing 2 shots back. Davis Love III is a dark horse: He has finished no worse than a tie for 14th in the last 8 British Opens, easily the most consistent play in the open of any golfer. This week anybody could win, despite Woods being a 3 to 1 favorite in London’s betting parlours. That’s why they call it an open.
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- I am the host of the Major League Soccer Talk and EPL Talk Podcasts and am frequent guest on other (world) football shows. I am also the publisher of various other websites including this one. I work in public/government relations in addition to my soccer work and have a keen interest in history, politics, aviation, travel,and the world around us.