Monday, 18 July 2011

The Open - a postview

While Fantasy Bob was focussed on watching Scotland beat Northants in the CB40 to finish the week with 2 wins (hooray!) he had half an eye on events at Sandwich in the Open Championship.

Fantasy Bob missed the news bulletin which reported the passing of the law that provides that all winners of major golf tournaments henceforth have to be from Northern Ireland.  But the rest of the field was fully aware of that law, none moreso than Mickelson who, as soon as he accidentally joined the lead on the last day, was reminded of the law and recognised that he had to start missing short puts.  With rival Ulsterman Rory McIlroy doing the decent thing and deferring to his older compatriot (exactly twice his age), things could not have been simpler for Darren Clarke.  So well done to him.  Clarke had a great stroke of good fortune when he seemed to top a shot out of the rough on the 9th hole. As FB's shots in similar circumstances do, it was heading for a bunker but leapt from an up slope onto the green.  Despite all FB's assiduous practice of topping shots he has never managed to make them find the green like that.  More practice required obviously.  But FB recognises the great achievement of Henrik Stenson who took 11 shots to complete the 14th hole yesterday.  He blasted 2 balls out of bounds off the tee. Now that's FB's type of golf.

'No golfer wearing orange
head to foot will be granted rights
 to win anything' (Unwritten rule 1)
Young American Ricky Fowler, who for a short time seemed a significant challenger, failed to note the significance of the rule that no one clad head to foot in bright orange has ever won anything, other than gazes of sympathy or amazement.  He also fell foul of the rule that only players whose hats fit them can win. He therefore had no chance. In older more conventional days he would have been denied access to the course.

Darren Clarke is reported to spend £25,000 per year on cigars.  He may well be honoured by Fidel Castro for his contribution to the success of the Cuban economy.  FB imagines that his win makes Clarke an overriding favourite for the Sportsperson of the Year award - assuming golf still counts as a sport and assuming TomWatson (MP and not the 5 times Open champion) doesn't inch it by getting all the Murdoch senior management put in jail.

It never rains on the golf course
FB greatly enjoyed the Open weather on Saturday as it made extreme demands of the players.  It reminded him of some of the calmer days on his own home course.  He has also played cricket in similar conditions several times.  No point in the highly paid cosseted players moaning about it - that level of challenge is as it should be - winning the Open is meant to be difficult and a test of character skill and waterproofing. Same for the spectators who also had to suffer a bit.  Nevertheless no doubt someone is developing the all weather roofed floodlit golf course right now.

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