Friday, July 17, 2009

End of the Underdog

If you know anything about golf, you know that throughout the PGA season, there are 4 major championships: The Masters, The US Open, The British Open, and the PGA Championship. To me, it feels like The Masters and the US Open get the most credit. If I could pick one major to win though, it would be the British.

First of all, I have to say that all of the other majors are amazing. Each one has it's perks. If you win The Masters, you get the green jacket, which is probably the coolest piece of clothing in all of sports. If you win the US Open or the PGA, you get the cool trophies, and all the history that goes with them. These are all great and, don't get me wrong, I would gladly take any one of them in an instant. But here's why I love the British:

One: The British is the most unpredictable major. Case in point: Today. Tom Watson, a 59 year old, is winning and Tiger Woods missed the cut. Going in, everyone (including me) was picking Tiger to win. There were stats going around like: In the three British Opens held at Turnberry, (the course where the tournament is being played this year) the number one player at the time has won each one. But here we are going into the weekend, and Tiger Woods is going home.

Two: The British Open is completely un-Americanized. The three other championships are all held in America every year and use this theory: Bigger is better. The British is played in England, Ireland, and Scotland, where the game began. Maybe we should take a tip from them. Every US Open is held on a course that is longer than the last. While yes, it makes for low scores, it effectively takes out over half the field. It's the end of the underdog in golf. Sometimes, there are still unexpected winners, but you had better bet they hit the ball a long ways (like Lucas Glover this year at the US Open). The British Open is tough, not because of how long the courses are, but because you have to play smart golf to win on them. Maybe watching guys hit one irons off of most tees isn't as exciting as watching someone rip a drive 350 yards, but shouldn't there be a place in the game for where it began? Golf began as a thinking man's game, and the British is proof that it still has a place.

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