Who cares about the Ashes, the golf is far more interesting!

It is the final round of the open championship (golf) at Turnberry today and Tom Watson has, exactly as I type this, just hit his shot off the first tee into the middle of the fairway. Tom was the overnight leader at -4 and he knows the course well so it would not be too surprising if he were to go on and win. It would not be too surprising that is if he wasn’t a 59 year old golfing legend who won his last open championship in 1983 and his last open on the same course at Turnberry in 1977. Can he repeat that victory after a gap of 32 years?

tom watson
Tom Watson

turnberry

Turnberry Ailsa Course – 10th green

Tom was the world’s #1 ranked golfer from ’78 to ’82 and was squeezed in the spotlight between the one and only Jack Nicklaus and the equally legendary Seve Ballesteros. He’s won the open championship a total of five times in his tally of eight major victories. Some of the senior players have had decent runs in majors outside of their peak years but I can’t remember any of them coming this close to actually winning. It really would be major back-page news if he could keep it going today. Best of luck to him!

If he can’t keep it going, then we still have a possible “fairy-tale” open result with Ross Fisher winning for England. Ross’s wife, Jo, is expecting to give birth to their first child at any moment (about 5 days late so far) and he’s already threatened to drop clubs and leave in previous rounds if he gets the call. Will he leave if he’s likely to win the open? I notice Ross is the pro at Wentworth, one of my favourite courses that I played often when I lived in the UK so I’m warming to him!

ross fisher

Ross Fisher

LIVE EDIT – Fisher is playing well with a couple of birdies and is now leading the championship having gone to -5 while Watson is doing the opposite and has dropped a few shots to go down to -2.

There are others in contention of course, a Tasmanian called Goggin for example who might be a good winner for the Aussies as retaliation for losing the Ashes (as looks likely). Of course there’s always the other English interest in Lee Westwood, time he won a major, surely? Stewart Cink another one not to be ruled out.

westwood

Lee Westwood

So, a 59 year old legend with nothing to prove, a young guy who’s filled with the adrenaline of imminent fatherhood or neither of them? Should be interesting.

PS – for American readers, the Open Championship is called the British Open in your language. We call it THE Open because it was where it all started back in 1860 (as opposed to the U.S Open which started in 1895)! ;)

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5 thoughts on “Who cares about the Ashes, the golf is far more interesting!

  1. Oooh, mancake! Good way to up your female readership, Scatts, even though golf is as boring as all get-out. That being said, we’ve got it on the telly here, so who am I kidding?

  2. I would say ‘far more interesting’ is an ever so slight exaggeration :) … and I’m not the only one :) see first three paragraphs of:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jul/19/david-mitchell-cricket-air-travel

    mind you, I would love to be able to watch the golf and the cricket. Sadly haven’t got either but the radio coverage of the cricket is bliss. Last day of second test tomorrow – could be nail biting stuff as England need to stop Australia from winning.

  3. Yes well, we all know cricket lovers have a tendency to glorify their game to the point of hilarity. Just like baseball, boring game so you have to go on and on and on about it…….chess is similar too.

    Next post will reveal all about how to watch & listen to all those UK broadcasts you desperately crave!

    :)

  4. Cink – who’d have thunk it, eh!

    His victory speech was like so many of those American victory speeches – “I’d like to thank God for ……..”. The USA really is a very religious place isn’t it!

    Interview with Tom Watson showed that far from being very happy to have got so far at 59, he was mightily pissed off at not having won! Good for him. He did have a relatively easy three shots to win from the 18th fairway but like I’ve seen so often, the approach shot to the last green is adrenaline pumped and plays a club longer than they expect. Then they’re in trouble surrounded by galleries of people and it all goes horribly wrong. Mind you, with his experience, he should have known better and taken a club less – or his caddy should have insisted a club less.

    In the play-off the wheels came off and he just gave up. Noticeable how the strength is not enough in a tired 59 yr old to whack the ball out of long rough. That’s really the only time you need a lot of strength to play golf, the rest is just an easy swing. As they said on the radio, it would have been better to allow him to throw in the towel than to endure the rest of the play-off holes.

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