I spent most of the morning watching the British Open. It was fascinating, and not much else is going on in the sports world right now, so I thought I would share what is sticking out in my mind halfway through the tournament.
1. I understand that links-style courses are the original courses, and I can appreciate the history and challenge, but wow, are those courses ever ugly. I don’t find it interesting to watch a course that lacks a tree, is perpetually hammered by wind, and has grass up above a players waist just feet from the fairway. I’d take a beach course like Pebble Beach, a mountain course, or anything with a tree anytime over this.
2. It’s early, and there is still a lot to play, but I said that I liked Camilo Villegas at 80/1 before the tournament started, and I like him even more now. He’s sitting two strokes off the lead after birdies on his last five holes today gave him a tournament-best 65. This guy is young, but he can hit it a mile, he’s incredibly hot, and he has just enough swagger to hold up under the pressure of the weekend. I’m not saying he’ll win, but I love him at the price.
3. David Duval is an odd story. I’m not sure we’ve ever seen a guy that good become so bad for no apparent reason and still keep playing. I’m glad to see him in contention here. That being said, I wish the commentators would just leave him alone. They showed a whole lot of his round today, and with pretty much every shot they had to rehash his epic struggles and every flaw in his game. He’s a former Open champion so he is open to scrutiny. So are Ben Curtis and Todd Hamilton, though – they’re not doing much with their careers, either, but they don’t pick on them the same way.
4. Greg Norman having a good first round was an interesting story. Him doing it again in the second round was really something to see. He’s putting like his ball is steel and the hole is a magnet. I don’t think that he’ll hold up physically through the round, and I would have to bet against him if i was forced to make a decision, but it will be fun to see if he can keep the miracle going.
5. Phil Mickelson wastes more talent and potential than any man on this planet. The only thing more annoying than that is that he has a carefully crafted excuse for everything he does poorly. He also burns money. He was 12/1 to win this tournament, and I guarantee a ridiculous proportion of public money was thrown down that hopeless well.
6. This would be a way more interesting tournament if it didn’t start before the sun came up every morning.
7. I definitely wouldn’t bet against K.J. Choi right now. I love how he is playing, he’s oozing confidence, and he’s good enough to contend to the end.
8. The weather obviously affects every course, but this is just ridiculous. This was a different course yeserday afternoon than it was yesterday morning, and it was a much easier course today than yesterday. The time you tee off shouldn’t have such an impact on the outcome of a major.