Hard to believe The Open Championship is already upon us. Each major has its own charm: the Masters means spring and the official tease to the start of golf season for those of us in the temperate parts of the northern hemisphere; the U.S. Open is Father's Day and the grind of golf's toughest test; and the PGA Championship means, "There's still important golf on? Sorry honey, I'll start on that summer backyard project next weekend ... wait, what? It's mid-August already? Hmmm ... I think it makes more sense to start the fence next year ... right after the Masters!"
Aside from the amazing classic courses and weather, one of the great things here in North America about The Open Championship is being able to watch in the morning instead of the middle of the day. There is something civilized about some coffee and breakfast followed by a Bloody Caesar (the sexier cousin of the big-boned-but-great-personality Bloody Mary) and watching the year's third major.
Here's a great little promo done by the R&A to get you amped up.
Is there any other major sporting event where you sort of hope for some bad weather and they keep playing? Unlike other sporting events (and even other golf tournaments, where adverse weather conditions are tolerated, The Open Championship seems to welcome adverse weather as one of the required hurdles for a worthy champion.
As we did for the other majors this year, let's look back at the last several years to get you ready for this year's Open in this installment of the Golf Videos of the Week.
2012 GRATE SCOTT, ELS BELLIES HIS WAY TO A SECOND OPEN
Adam Scott's horrible meltdown (and amazingly classy interviews afterwards) has been muted by his Masters win this year. Even so, you can't help think that these two guys with their ugly long putters had a serious impact on the R&A and its move to ban the anchored stroke. A great win for Els who was an amazing 6 strokes off the lead at the start of the day (he was really 7 strokes off the lead by the third hole that day). Of course half the fun was listening to Peter Aliss prounounce Ay-er-nee Els' name.
2011 CLARKE CRUISES
It seemed like it should have been close with Dustin Johnson right there after Saturday and Phil Mickelson lurking, but Darren Clarke cruised home in an anti-climactic finish. There was not much doubt left by the 14th hole and he strolled home for the Claret Jug looking thirsty. It could only have been better if he'd bought a Guinness from the drink cart somewhere on the 17th.
The promo featuring Clarke:
2010 LOUIS WHO?
Speaking of anti-climactic, Louis Oosthuizen burst on the scene in 2010 with that beautiful swing and the championship was never really in doubt the final day. With his eagle on 9 Sunday, we fans were pretty much ready to hit the links ourselves.
Oosthuizen is no one-time wonder, he seems to have a couple more Majors in him.
2009 CINK'S GLORIOUS OPEN WIN AMID HIS SEA OF ADORING FANS!
Wait ... hang on, wasn't that the year Tom Watson could have parred the 18th at Turnberry to win his 6th Open championship and become the oldest major winner ever? Yes. I still can't believe how hard that approach shot he hit into the green bounced on the 73nd hole.
It does beg the question: would you rather be Paul Lawrie or Stewart Cink? In both cases, you at least got to win in a playoff so it somewhat mitigates the sense that the other guy (Jean Van de Velde in the case of Lawrie in case you forgot - see below) collapsed and lost. Watson didn't collapse to the same degree as Van de Velde, but it still must have been weird for Cink to have the entire course and the entire golfing world rooting for Watson. It's not often a nice guy is the heel.
In some ways, the heartbreak in stroke play golf can linger because you are not playing an opponent. It is not the case that the actions of your competitor have a direct impact or consequence to your next shot. If Lebron James dunks over you, you shrug what's left of your shoulders and move on. You miss a clutch free throw and that can linger. In golf, you play the course and although there is a lot of luck in golf, the misses are yours to keep. Of course that brings us to Monsieur Jean. Not only was this one of the most spectacular collapses in major championship golf, the Frenchman just had the look of impending disaster. Here it is in all its glory ... er, gory?