by Jeff Skinner
It is finally time for the Open Championship to start and if you are reading this you are probably missing some of the Open telecast on ESPN. It starts at 4:00am EST and there is even more coverage on the The Open.com.
But television coverage isn’t the only way to stay connected to the Open. It’s the printed word (internet included) that goes so much deeper than the TV coverage and there are no commercials! Here are some great links to some of the best coverage of The Open Championship.
Geoff Shackelford shares some pictures of Liverpool, the course and the city. He also ran into a few “buddies” of his as he made his way around town to put some cash down on his favorite golfers.
My enthusiasm spilled into the local economy when I ran into my old friend Paddy Power (not the Irish televangelist) who offered to reimburse me seven places deep into the top 10, cajoling each/way bets out of me on Mickelson (25-1), McDowell (28-1) and the house special, Martin Kaymer at 28-1. Yes, that fellow who won the U.S. Open. While I was catching up with Paddy, minor wagers were also placed on Mikko Ilonen, Jimmy Walker, someone named K. Brosberg (2nd Scottish Open, 150-1) and at 250-1, a sympathy bet for Paddy’s countryman, Darren Clarke.
Martin Dempster in The Scotsman tell us that plotting not power is the key to taming Hoylake.
It is, indeed, a different-looking golf course from 2006, though, just as Woods did on that occasion, the winner this week will more likely have plotted his way around rather than overpowering the Hoylake course. “I don’t walk on to this golf course and kind of sigh and say, ‘Here we go again, this is a 330-yard hitters paradise’,” said 2010 US Open champion Graeme¬ McDowell, a self-confessed “short knocker” compared to the game’s legions of big-hitters.
“It’s not that type of course; it’s a placement course,” he added. “Look at the way Tiger won here in 2006. He can dominate with length, but he didn’t have to. This golf course doesn’t ask that question. It asks you to play a game of chess more than ¬anything.”
Jim White in The Telegraph has us and the town on a “George Clooney” watch.
The last time Britain’s leading golf tournament was staged here, Hollywood’s most celebrated heart throb sent the pulses of local ladies of a certain age racing when he was seen out and about in town, after a day spent observing on the links.
Clooney went for a pint in the Ship, an event which landlord Owen Hird has immortalised in a miniature golf leaderboard he has stationed behind the bar.
I think I have found Shackelford’s counterpart from across the pond. James Corrigan writes just like Shackelford, with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek. Here’s his take as to why the Open is the best sporting event in Britain…and more.
You will see this week what makes the Open Championship not only Britain’s best sporting event for individuals, but the world’s best sporting event for individuals. You will also see why it is the most democratic.
That’s right, ‘democratic’, not a word normally associated with professional golf and certainly not with the clichéd view of British golf as being elitist, sexist, racist… (add in your own ‘ist’ here). But cut through all that lazy stereotyping, through all that faux outrage and understand what makes the Open unique.
Here is Dempster’s take on Bradley Neil the British Amateur Champ who passed up his drivers’ license test to play at The Open.
He was scheduled to sit his driving test yesterday. Instead, he was standing on the putting green in front of the Royal Aberdeen clubhouse being grilled by some Scottish scribes. “The highlight of my day,” he quipped.
And here is a piece by Edward Malnack in The Telegraph on the most famous factory worker in Liverpool. John Singleton works a regular job by day but in his heart he’s a professional golfer. The Open is his big chance and he’s also my longshot pick to make the cut this week.
On Wednesday evening John Singleton’s colleagues at his factory workplace in the Wirral were producing gallons of specialised varnish for the electrical industry. But on Thursday morning many will be following him around the 18 holes of the prestigious Royal Liverpool golf club in Hoylake as he fulfils his lifetime ambition.
Mr. Singleton, whose day job is mixing chemicals and driving a forklift, will tee off in The Open, alongside some of the sport’s greatest professional players, among them Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.