Weekend: British Open Live Blog

This is what happens when…

As I pointed out in prior majors, it is absolutely ASININE to put all the top players on one side of the draw.  This week Rory, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, and Rickie Fowler all teed off between 9:00 am and 9:36 am on Thursday.

Mickelson and Stenson? 1:26 pm and 2:15 pm.

*****

What excitement!  I have not been this enthralled since Andrew Magee faced off against Jeff Maggert in the first WGC Match Play Championship!

And the announcing is superb!  Johnny Miller is so talented!  He doesn’t repeat the same old tired crap week after week after week, year after year after year, decade after decade after decade.  No, his analysis is fresh and riveting!  The only way this broadcast could be improved is if Brandel Chamblee would provide analysis of Magee Stenson and Maggert’s Mickelson’s swings.

Wow!  Excellent comment from Dan Hicks!  Mickelson “must feel like he is playing against Tiger!”  No way I’m turning this off!

*****

Rory bolts to T-7, only three back of third place.  Stenson and Mickelson hear his footsteps and will likely falter!

Kuchar Komedy:  Kuchar’s stuggles on No. 8 were funny.  No two ways about it.

2016, the Open, and Everything:  Golf has been extremely disappointing in 2016.  Unless Rory or Jordan can get a win at the PGA in two weeks, I won’t be writing a check to St. Jude’s this year.  Regarding tomorrow, there are a bunch of pros about whom one thinks, “I hope he wins a major some day.”  But it’s never the current major.  No, I always want one of my favorites to win the one being played at that time.  DJ was one of those players, and he finally got his.  Stenson is another of those players, so he might as well get his tomorrow.  Then Westwood can win the PGA.

Worth Reading: Column from Oliver Brown (“Golf’s elitists should look in the mirror – not pick on Rory McIlroy“) on, among other things, the mantra of “growing the game” and Rory’s lack of interest in the Olympics.

Gary Player Comments:  Weird stuff from Gary Player:

Player, who is also the captain of South Africa’s first Olympic golf team, said he wouldn’t blame the Olympic Committee for kicking golf out of future games as a result of so many notable players refusing to attend.

“We all worked hard to get golf in the Olympics. I think professional golf should be kicked out of the Olympics…They should replace us with amateurs who would hold it at high esteem to represent this country with great joy,” he said.

Gee, that never occurred to you when you were pushing for golf in the Olympics in the first place?

To be honest, I would be happy if they canceled Olympics golf immediately rather than wait until after 2020.  Although Tokyo sounds halfway decent.

Saturday Morn: “We’re looking at a potential big number here.”  — Johnny Miller, after Leishman fails twice to get out of a bunker.  Great analysis.  That’s why Miller makes the big bucks.

The Night Before: Brilliant planning to put The Big Four all on the same side of the draw — the bad side.  Pure genius.

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59 Responses to Weekend: British Open Live Blog

  1. Jaybird77 says:

    LOL. Right on time! I was wondering where the bad draw comment was!

    • lannyh says:

      Says the guy who told me how stupid I was not to understand a comment in a Tour Confidential. Except, except, except… Gary Van Sickle (who wrote the piece) told me it was a typo and didn’t make sense as written. But you took the nonsense, claimed it was sensible, and then blasted me for being too stupid to understand.

      Pretty clearly what we get from you is brainless perma-criticism.

      • Jaybird77 says:

        A little over the top with the “brainless perma-criticism” considering I actually agree with you from time to time. I just like to push your buttons on topics I find to be trivial, like this one. Relax.

  2. Ken says:

    Obviously the late/early draw was the better.

    But if you didn’t come out of round one in good shape, you have no one to blame but yourself. Conditions were benign all day.

    Not sure why you believe that the organizers of any tournament need to care about one player’s position in the draw vs. another. In some ways, if you believe that there is a big 2, 3, or 4, putting them in the same draw is fair. Why does the R&A have a stake in seeing to it that at least one of the “big 4” is put into a position to win in anticipation of difficult conditions? They have 156 players and should treat them the same.

    IMO draws should ne completely random.

    • Jaybird77 says:

      If you start looking at certainly players and considering the weather when figuring out the “draw” then you bring in the potential for favoritism towards those top tier players.

      And, you simply can’t do that. Gotta keep it random and in some cases, like this one, random can lead to several top tier players getting the bad end of the draw. But, at least their not subjectively manipulating the draw.

      • Ken says:

        Agree thst they can’t show favoritism towards a player or group of players. Although the draws aren’t random now. Think Monty hit the first shot by chance? Groups are contrived ny someone’s reasoning.

        Lanny seems to believe that the R&A and USGA should boost the chances of the game’s stars as a group. That’s his opinion. Maybe that’s a “grow the game” sort of philosophy.

        The draw is a factor at any tournament, major or not. You just have to deal with it.

  3. DanishDude says:

    Typical, sour grape, fanboy reaction… and incorrect, DJ was on the “good” side…

    Being danish, I’m obviously rooting for Kjeldsen, but realistically Stenson is the more likely first scandinavian winner of a major.

  4. Kris says:

    There’s something about the shape of Rory’s jacket and the bulk of his shoulders that makes him look like he’s morphing into a teenage mutant ninja turtle. He’s having a hard time putting today. Maybe he’d have more luck with Donatello’s bo staff.

    How much I miss shot tracker during majors cannot be overstated.

  5. Ken says:

    Where are you? For the only golf website that matters, you’ve been rather quiet during a big week.

    Agree or not, I miss hearing your take.

  6. Sports-realist. says:

    Well the tournament is Phils to win or lose..Obviously a two man game, and Stenson usually can’t make the short putts down the stretch….
    With that said, Phil blew a three shot lead a few months ago, going into the final round….But Vegas will love Phil, and I just can’t trust Stenson….

    • Ken says:

      They’re putting on a show. 5 clear of 3rd. Phil gets his swing back look out. The putting has been outstanding.

    • Ken says:

      One nice thing is seeing the leaders step up and hit the ball. Day and Spieth can get frustrating with their slow pace.

      • DanishDude says:

        Keegan Bradley, in the group in front of them with Kjeldsen, was excruciatingly slow.

        Søren Kjeldsen, when asked by the danish reporter following them on the course, if Keegans tics and other antics didn’t irritate him answered very diplomatically that he had enough on his own plate to be bothered.

  7. Sports-realist. says:

    Phil is a +155 underdog to Stenson -140 slight favorite…Considering this is the FIRST 54 hole Major lead by Henrick Stenson in a Major and has ZERO majors, I still don’t look at Phil as an underdog, with a one shot deficit….
    Put it this way, if you had a 1000 bucks, and you had to put it on one of these two golfers—who would you choose….

    • Ken says:

      Always been a fan, but Mickelson is not much of a closer. He used to be. Since the disaster at Winged Foot, I don’t think he’s been the same. And old guys typically fall short.

      I’d actually bet Stenson.

      I do like that it’s close. I think that works for Phil. Rather see him chasing and focused. I honestly like his chances more than if he were 3 up.

      • Sports-realist. says:

        I agree about Phil being behind by one actually HELPS Phil, as opposed to if he actually had the lead…..And again, Stenson has NEVER slept on this type of Major lead this far in, so both things should work to Phil’s advantage….

    • lannyh says:

      Stenson. Mickelson will tank it to pay off a gambling debt.

      • Sports-realist. says:

        well if we see Phil ‘fist pump’ after each ‘triple-bogey’, then I will agree with you…

  8. Jaybird77 says:

    Looks like Ror’s needs a new 3 wood.

  9. Jaybird77 says:

    Wow. DJ gets the monkey off his back at the US Open and now Stenson has the same chance here at The Open. If he were to accomplish that, and Westwood won the PGA in a couple weeks like you suggested…..I would absolutely love that!!

    • Sports-realist. says:

      pga loves the idea of 46 year old Phil winning it…They could give a rats behind about Stenson winning it….

      • Jaybird77 says:

        I think you meant “the media” loves the idea of 46 year old Phil winning it. I don’t think the PGA really gives two craps.

  10. Sports-realist. says:

    The PGA proved it has it’s favorites too…AKA ANYONE who took steroids, who was relevant could take them and not get caught…Remember the one player who called the PGA drug testing ‘one the of the biggest jokes hes ever seen'(paraphrase)….Eldrick stated he hadn’t been tested for over a year, at one press conference, when it’s known through Bloodsport ect that he’s on the steroid list……PGA has also looked the other way with Phil, so YES the PGA does play favorites, and they would prefer Phil over Stenson for commercial and economic realities…

  11. Ken says:

    You can bemoan what you see as a terrible season because Rory and Jordan didn’t sweep the majors. But thus far this is a great dual between Stenson and Phil.

    • Sports-realist. says:

      I thought the Masters was fun to watch, ofcourse Spieth choked, but this one here is really, really interesting to watch….

  12. Sports-realist. says:

    When was the last Major, where the FINAL group played together in the final two rounds together, and where the rest of the field was totally out of it?

    • Sports-realist. says:

      Not only that, but where the winner MIGHT have to break the British Open scoring record to get it, as both keep hitting darts…-19 under is the present record..

    • Ken says:

      Maybe it was 1977 at Turnbury.

      Shows you how tough the Nicklaus record is. Or Woods’ total. These guys are playing awesome golf but one won’t get a major.

  13. Jaybird77 says:

    Bad announcing is more newsworthy than good golf.

  14. Ken says:

    Lanny are you a golf fan or a fan of only certain players?

    Despite your sarcastic comments, I think most of the golf world is enjoying this match.

  15. Sports-realist. says:

    Phil missed the fairway 3 times out of 4 on this 12th hole….Really surprised he didn’t just try driver…he’s would have been alot closer, and mentally, when you KEEP missing the SAME fairway with an iron, you should change clubs…

    • Sports-realist. says:

      Wow, what a save…3 bad shots, followed by a 30 footer for par by Phil…..hmm

      • Ken says:

        I tend to think that I’ll be disappointed in the end. But Mickelson when he’s on is as compelling a player as there’s ever been.

  16. Jaybird77 says:

    New Rule.

    PGA/Euro Tour must look at the forecast and ensure the top 5 golfers in the field are guaranteed the “good draw”.

  17. Sports-realist. says:

    Who is this Stenson? This guy usually chokes more at putting than any golfer I’ve seen…He’s putting like he hasn’t his entire career right now down the stretch..

  18. Sports-realist. says:

    Just no BITE on this course…….Stenson will have -19, if he makes his short putt, and Phil could even reach it and possibly not win….

  19. DanishDude says:

    Stenson is a most deserving winner – what a performance….

  20. Sports-realist. says:

    Yep, now Eldrick only SHARES one Major scoring record with Spieth, all the others have been surpassed….Just again shows you how the next generation of golfers and equipment are pretty good……The golf channel will be crying in their beer tonight….

    • Sports-realist. says:

      Phil has his BEST final round in a Major so far, and loses? Welcome to golf…..I’m sure Phil is like ‘why didn’t Stenson do this to someone else?’……

      • Ken says:

        He has to be thinking that.

        3rd year in a row with a 2nd in a major. Twoce losing to a record score.

        Always gracious. If Phil is a phony as some claim, he should get a special academy award since he’s kept that act going for over 2 decades. I think the reality is that he’s a nice guy and a sportsman. If he did break the law then he should be pinished. But in the golf world he is a class act.

  21. Sports-realist. says:

    The tee times can be important, BUT, I cannot defend these SUPPOSED top 4 or 5 players right now, which the media/PGA are trying to force…..
    Should we expect Rory, Spieth, Day, ect to ALWAYS be at the top the leaderboard in Majors? Nope…..We all know Rory and Spieth have been fighting INCONSISTENCY all year long…
    Day, Spieth and Mcllroy have all won tournaments this year( I think Mcllroys was a European event), but it’s not like they are chop liver, they just aren’t ALL playing at the TOP of their collective games right now….

    Yeah Phil could have easily have won two more majors recently….This won has to be perhaps the most annoying to Phil, mainly because he KNOWS Stenson never won a Major(up till now), and it was ONLY a two man contest to start the day for a Major…..How often does your opponent in match play, make TEN birdies in one round? Crazy…

    • Jaybird77 says:

      Jordan won 5 times last year. Couple that with the comparison to TW who, during his prime, won, on average, 5 times a year, and we have a perfect storm of insane expectations for the current top golfers.

      When TW was #1 there was absolutely no question. Now, today’s players can’t play at a high level that consistently so we have a lot more movement/uncertainty at the top.

      On another note, Henrik Stenson won…..yet I haven’t seen any pressers from him while I’ve seen 3 or 4 interviews from Phil. Seems kind of backwards doesn’t it????

      • Sports-realist. says:

        Yes but Woods took ALL sorts of steroids and visited Dr Galea several times, so his stats are right there with Aroids in baseball in my book……..Without steroids, the real Woods would probably have about 45 wins and 7 Majors, if that…………The media has kept his steroid revelations under reported, more than JFK and his affairs….It’s really bizarre….
        Also after Woods won his first major in 1997, he didn’t win his 2nd Major again until the 1999 PGA, so 10 Major gap in between wins…So what Day, Spieth, Rory are doing right now isn’t that much different…..Plus, the PGA tour was a bunch of average players and has beens in much of the late 90’s and early 00’s….The PGA player roster in those laste 90’s was actually pretty lame…We also NOW know that MOST of the young hopefuls had very, very average careers, even without Eldrick playing….

    • Ken says:

      Extremely wrong expectations for Spieth, etc. No one can be expected to win majors every year. He’s won twice this year so not exactly a collapse. And sometimes, like today, you just get beaten.

      Tee times matter, but I don’t think they accounted for 16 strokes for Rory and 22 for Jordan.

  22. Speedy says:

    Big 4 get flushed by new #5.

  23. Jaybird77 says:

    Hey Lanny, Check out a story from Phil Mushnick at nypost.com. You’ll appreciate it!

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