Bandwagoning The Big Ones: The 2015 Open Championship

I can’t decide if I want to call it “The Open Championship” or the “British Open.”

Ben Martin’s wife will never have to choose between the two phrases ever again. Her schedule listed this week as “Open Week” and she mistook that to mean a week off…quite the (humorous and) inconvenient blunder, but it’s a great story for years down the line.

Photo: Associated Press
Photo: Associated Press

Thursday, July 16: This year’s British Open is being held at the Old Course, St. Andrews in Scotland. One of the most beautiful and classic courses I’ve ever seen, this is the perfect setting for Tom Watson and Sir Nick Faldo’s last British Open, as both men are taking their last trip over the bridge at the 18th this year.

It’s looking like the weather is going to be more of a playing factor than player skill this week, given rain and high winds are prominent in the forecast. The course is treacherous by itself, but 40 mile an hour winds can turn this into a nightmare for even the best golfers.

Notably, Jordan Spieth is on the hunt for the Spieth Slam; Dustin Johnson is out for blood after blowing the last hole and forfeiting victory at the last major, and Tiger is looking to just make the damn cut if nothing else.

Photo: Bob Martin/Sports Illustrated
Photo: Bob Martin/Sports Illustrated

Friday, July 17: This round has been RIDICULOUS. It’s lasted some 24 hours due to repeated weather delays, with players like Johnson and Spieth having to wait over ten hours to complete their rounds. Dustin leads, much to my dismay.

Photo: Bob Martin/Sports Illustrated
Photo: Bob Martin/Sports Illustrated

Before the delay, Tom Watson got to take his final walk over the bridge. It was an emotional moment for everyone, and even the European crowd was ecstatic to get to witness Watson’s last round at St. Andrews.

Because of the delays, the final round has been pushed back to Monday.

Saturday, July 18
: This weather has been A MESS. And it’s made worse by the fact that Jordan Spieth can’t seem to stay in the top three. Usually, his putter is his best friend and he’s touted as one of the best in the business on the greens.

Today, not so much.

Here’s hoping tomorrow (and Monday) are better for the pursuit of the Spieth Slam.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 4.06.31 PMSunday, July 19: I’m losing sleep over this major, you guys. EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING TODAY, AND I CAN’T HANDLE IT.

First, Jordan made a slight tweak with the putter that led to a flurry of birdies, putting him one behind the leader (cue happy dance).

Then, Paul Dunne, 22-year-old amateur from Ireland (who dresses JUST LIKE Jordan, I might add) took the lead. THE AMATEUR IS IN THE LEAD. Okay, he has a share of it, but still. There’s history being made by this kid and potential for even more should he show up strong again tomorrow.

What about Dustin? Oh, Dusty had his usual Sunday showing and shot a 75, basically taking himself out of contention short of a miracle (and dude is sleeping with Paulina Gretzky, so he might be out of miracles). (Cue another happy dance…I REALLY dislike that guy.)

Basically, tomorrow is going to be reminiscent of ancient times. All my favorites will enter the ring, and here’s hoping one in particular emerges victorious.

Monday, July 20: Let me walk you through my day…

Get up. Put on Under Armour golf shirt.

Eat, take care of dog, turn on British Open.

Drive, wait for train while reading highlights from Golf Channel and others.

Continue reading on the train (with a ten minute break to read some Game of Thrones. Because winter is coming).

Get to work, IMMEDIATELY turn on the live feed of tournament via Comcast.

Get nothing done, all day.

Blog about it.

And here we are.

Today was a prime example of why people who say golf is boring should be punched in the nose. The back-and-forth of the leaderboard damn near gave me whiplash all morning, and Jordan held on ALL THE WAY UNTIL…he bogeyed the 17th. His chance for redemption on the 18th was taken away by the Valley of Sin and we went into a three-man playoff…without Spieth.

Have you ever watched your favorite team lose a playoff game in the last few minutes and it takes you awhile to accept that what you saw actually happened? Yeah, that was me for about an hour.

Had Jordan crapped out yesterday or even early in the round, it would have been fine. But he didn’t. He held on. He kept hopes of the Spieth Slam alive. And then they SHATTERED.

Photo: Thomas Lovelock for Sports Illustrated
Photo: Thomas Lovelock for Sports Illustrated

ONE SHOT. He missed the playoff by ONE SHOT. I realize that his finish is still astonishing for a 21-year-old, and even more so given his season thus far. But it was RIGHT THERE.

Zach Johnson took the Claret Jug (and let Jordan drink from it, curses be damned, on the flight home), and there’s something to be said about his resilience and clutch putting. He earned it and I have no beef with THAT Johnson.

But I’m still gunning for Jordan in the PGA. Three out of four ain’t bad.

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