by Jeff Skinner
1. One of the things I like about the Open Championship venues is that the houses you see near the course are actually part of a town with regular working people living in them. Unlike in the U.S. where those houses are part of some ritzy real estate development.
2. Call me corny and maybe I do fall hook, line and sinker for ESPN’s hype but those Ian McShane pieces kick ass.
3. Cheers to Mark Calcavecchia who won “Low Senior Honors.” The 1989 Open Champion played great and tied for ninth. Not bad for an old dude.
4. Watching Tom Watson play anywhere is a treat. But seeing him back at The Open is extra special. He should be given a lifetime pass into this thing.
5. As ESPN was showing Miguel Angel Jimenez’s pre-round, stretching routine one of the announcers quipped “Any good exercise routine includes a cigar.” Absolutely, for the coolest guy in golf it always does.
6. So millions got to see Adam Scott and Stevie William drinking from the same water bottle. OK, maybe that’s cool but they have access to water bottles on every tee and that’s just where they were standing. That freaked me out.
7. That was quite a hullabaloo when Adam Scott’s ball moved and he wasn’t penalized. Paul Azinger sounded so pissed off because he was penalized for the same thing years ago. Turns out it was the right call. Lighten up Zinger.
8. As Tiger Woods was assessing his options on the sixth hole with his ball up against the wall of the bunker he looked like he may take an unplayable. But caddie Joe LaCava told him that Thorbjorn Olesen had managed to make that shot yesterday. Tiger tried it failed, made triple bogey and was out of the tournament. I wonder if LaCava had a seat on Tiger’s jet back home.
9. This Open Championship was an anomaly. The weather had little effect during play but plenty of effect in the weeks leading up to The Open. The course was soft and with no wind for three days the players could play target golf and that’s rare for an Open.
10. Classy move by Zach Johnson on the 18th. Zach stopped walking up to the green so Ernie Els could pass him and receive the huge ovation from his adoring fans. Nice one Zach.
11. So as Adam Scott is preparing to putt on 18 we see a shot of Ernie on the putting green talking on the phone. I figured he was on the phone to Augusta National telling them “I told you so.”
12. Adam Scott looked calm and composed during his post round interviews but the look on his face when his last putt missed was excruciating.
13. The scene of Ernie and his caddie as they heard he had one was great, as Roberts wiped tears from his eyes. Later he told the press with a choke in his voice that, “No one works harder than Ernie and Ernie wanted it more than anybody else.
14. Immediately after Ernie won he said, “I feel for my buddy” and Scott closed one of his interviews with ‘That’s golf.” Classy comments by classy men.
15. David Duval would have liked to make the cut and be more of a factor at The Open but it was great to see how content he is. And maybe a little more press on players like Duval will get more people to realize the quality of many of the men that play this game.
16. Ernie Els was channeling Ben Crenshaw at the Ryder Cup when he said he was a big believer in fate and he had a feeling. Well, Ernie said he had a feeling something good was bound to happen. Could he be any more right? This is about as good as it can get for The Big Easy and it couldn’t happen to a better guy.