Friday, July 18, 2008

Good Old Time Golf

I for one relish the uncertainty of a golf tournament. The excitement of uncertainty of this Open Championship is something we don't get very often any more. We are usually forced to watch Tiger over and over and while certainly he is a player for the ages, he is a rare talent and all that, there is more to a professional major than the world's number one player. But that's where the money is and it is no more plain than the difference in the usual Tiger major media coverage vs. the current one.

If he had been in this tournament we would have been subjected to repeated re-plays of his foibles, mishaps, bad breaks, cussin' and swearin' and he likely in the end he would not have won as his poor weather skills are far behind his good weather skills. In fact he may be the greatest fair weather player ever. Yes, that's what he is, finally the undisputed best (of something certain)!

Camillo Villegas - finishing with 7 birdies and five in a row. If he stays hot, it could be a story of some proportion. Go Gator!

There is such a big question mark about whether or not Greg Norman of Thursday and Friday will be Greg Norman on Saturday and Sunday. Will it become a story of the order of Nicklaus at the Masters 1986? Right down to the dramatic par save on the 18th today (Friday) Norman has been exciting and stellar, the way he used to be, a fairly long time ago in golf time.

We have to wonder if K.J. Choi, one of my personal picks to play well, not necessarily win, will continue his solid play and then stay out of the apparent slump that he has endured. He has done very very well, more than the punters had expected of him by an order of magnitude. Always a tenacious stalwart, he has been in a true slump for him lately and is on form the first two days. I want to see it continue as I enjoy the Hogan-esque way that he goes about his business, maximizing his efforts and minimizing his mistakes.

Will we continue to see quality play from David Duval, a player who has a very balanced approach to life that has muted his greatness at his own choice, good on him for that, by the way. It has been a few Opens since he has won at all.

Will the cut makers such as Els and Montgomery, favorites of a few and written off by many, but talented and experienced come forward? Andres Romero who also snuck in the cut - considering his tremendous result last year, does he have more in him?

Even as these stories unfold, we realize that these kind of stories are always there, but hidden because of the focus on Tiger in his era. This will be a memorable Open in one way or another and we will see it better that we might have. So as Sergio Garcia started his winner's speech at the Players this year, "First: Thanks to Tiger for not being here."

Indeed. Thanks Tiger.

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