If anyone tells you they know who's going to win this year's British Open Championship, and proffers betting advice, walk away. For they are both foolish and dangerous. That's not to say there are no educated guesses, but there lies no certainty here at Muirfield.
This is a course that, ever since the last decade of the 19th Century, has pretty much outlined the best player of the era. From Harry Vardon and James Braid to Walter Hagen and Henry Cotton. Not forgetting Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson as well as Nick Faldo (twice) and Ernie Els. So history suggests a class player.
However history here also suggests that Muirfield can sometimes be the first to identify that class.
Vardon won the first of his six Opens here, Player's first major of nine came on these links, Nicklaus's debut Open Championship too. More recently, Faldo's 1987 Muirfield Open was the first of his six career majors. FULL POST
This year’s Masters had its fair share of quiet periods, but in the deepening Augusta gloom it finally delivered the climax for which everyone had been hoping.
A worthy, popular winner, great sportsmanship, some phenomenal shot-making - not least Angel Cabrera’s stunning approach to the 72nd hole when he knew nothing less would extend his challenge - and a final explosion of Aussie joy as the nation’s 77-year Masters curse dropped into the 10th hole along with Adam Scott’s ball in the sudden-death playoff.
Last July, Scott’s family and friends stood, silent and stunned, some in tears, as they watched a TV behind the 18th green at the British Open. Their man had walked off the 14th with a firm grasp on the coveted claret jug, but as they stood there, was proceeding to bogey each of the final four holes, relinquishing what would have been his first major victory. FULL POST
And so Tiger’s reached yet another level of “back.”
It’s been, in the phrase he almost copyrighted, a process. Back playing (remember when that was a serious question?), then back contending, back sticking three or four good rounds together, back winning and now back at world No. 1.
But underpinning everything at the Arnold Palmer Invitational tournament at Bay Hill, Tiger was back putting like the best player on the planet.
Not how, but how many, runs the truism. Yet both sides of that oft-coined phrase hold the answer to Tiger’s return to the top. FULL POST
And so it goes on. The era of first-time major winners, the age in which golf's biggest prizes are shared around, the Olympic Club's tendency to favor the underdog and even, in perhaps God's little joke, the trend of deeply religious men winning U.S. Opens in San Francisco.
Webb Simpson did what few others have managed before in a U.S. Open - and what no-one else managed this weekend at Olympic – when he shot a closing pair of 68s to win his first major. He thoroughly earned his elevation - and proved he has the game and temperament to win another.
Whether he does so given this unprecedentedly democratic run of changing champions - 15 different major winners in a row, the last nine of them first-timers - remains to be seen, but for now there's time to enjoy his achievement, and the profile and security it will bring. FULL POST
Not Jack Nicklaus, not Annika Sorenstam, not Greg Norman, Lorena Ochoa nor Gary Player. Instead, it’s the American architect Gil Hanse who takes the honor of designing a course fit to host golf’s return to the Olympics in Rio in 2016. It would be fair to say it’s a surprise.
It’s not that Hanse isn’t good. In fact he’s very good indeed. His design for Castle Stuart, now host to the Scottish Open, won "Best New International Course" in 2009, and his portfolio includes the Boston Golf Club, Craighead at Crail and courses in South Korea and Japan. Donald Trump has just entrusted him with refreshing the Blue Monster at Doral.
Golf will be back in the Olympics after a gap of 112 years. It didn’t take quite that long for Rio and the International Golf Federation to choose a designer – it just seemed that way. A series of delays led to rumors that the selection committee had been split. FULL POST
London, England (CNN) – Let’s get one thing straight: Louis Oosthuizen thoroughly deserved to win the British Open.
And those of us fortunate enough to experience the warmth of his reception from the fans as he paraded the replica Claret Jug were left in no doubt that over the week his blend of outstanding golf talent, endearing modesty and impressive mental strength had won over pretty much everyone around St. Andrews.