Sorry for the lack of activity here at Weyneth World recently, the past few days have been pretty hectic in my real life and relatively quiet on the sports front, but I will try to make up for it with some quality posts over this weekend. While The Open Championship (or British Open as it’s known to most people outside of England) is the biggest sports story of the week and the sporting event to watch as it concludes this weekend, there have been a few other sports stories that I hope people have been following; athletes continue to do dumb and dangerous things, some refuse to go away, and some are a little too honest for their own (or their league’s) good. There was also a major trade made by my Boston Celtics today, which will receive a post of its own shortly. When you follow as many sports as I do there is never a lack of drama, but the theatricals that this post will focus on is The Open, as I’d like to steer more towards an actual competition and not the battle for this year’s Darwin Award that too many celebrities seem to be in the running for lately.
I know golf is not the most popular topic on this blog or quite frankly at any sports media outlet. This week though, the world’s oldest golf major in professional golf is being competed for at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire, England (on the Northwest coast of the country). This week the top golfers in the world are competing for the winner’s share of the €5 million total purse, of which approximately $1.5 million will go to the winner for their four round performance, not a bad living if you can make it.
156 players qualified for this year’s Open, including 16 past winners of the event. Over the past two days, beginning on Thursday morning, the field has been whittled down to under half that as only the top 70 (plus ties) survive to play the weekend. Among the past winners in the field, the cut got the best of David Duval, Tom Lehman, Stewart Cink, Todd Hamilton, Sandy Lyle, Darren Clarke, Justin Leonard and Ben Curtis, while fan favorites Tiger Woods, Louis Oosthuizen and Padraig Harrington are some of the past champions who did make the cut.
Compared to past Open Championships, this year’s tournament has been a walk in the park so far for many of the top players. There is a famous quote attributed to Mark Twain (though many contest the origin), that “golf is a good walk spoiled”. That quote has not held true for many of the game’s best going into the weekend, as Adam Scott put up an incredible 64 on Thursday (to take the lead after one complete round) and followed it up with a solid 67 today (he fell back to second overall). The tournament leader, Brandt Snedeker, would also disagree with Twain had he still been alive today, as the former Vanderbilt University star followed up an opening round 66 with a 64 today to move atop the leaderboard and finish at 10 under par for the first two rounds in England. The sport’s most polarizing figure, Tiger Woods, turned in back to back 67’s, good for sole possession of third place in this tournament and with today’s bunker chip-in on 18, and some putts that he left just short on Thursday morning, Tiger may have found his “Happy Place” on the course this weekend.
ESPN’s coverage of the 2012 Open Championship’s Third Round begins bright and early at 7 A.M. tomorrow. For those who have a bit too much fun tonight, Tiger Woods tees off at 10:10 A.M., with Adam Scott and Brandt Snedeker to follow at 10:20 A.M. I know that golf is one of those sports that you really have to play to be able to appreciate fully (with soccer being a very similar second place in that department), but if you have some time to kill tomorrow morning I’d highly recommend you checking it out. The worst that happens is it puts you back to sleep, the best thing that could result is that golf finds a new fan. It’s win-win, either way.