The Winds of The Open Championship Are Upon Us
Jul 17, 2014
The inevitable storm is about to begin, so we might as well face it head on. We're not talking about the wind and rain that always loom as a part of the forecast at The Open Championship. It's not the debate as to whether the major tournament itself should be called The Open Championship or The British Open. No, the huge debate that will be starting any day now revolves around the polarizing subject known as Tiger Woods. Assuming Tiger is in the field at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England from July 17 – July 20, the endless questions will begin. Will he win another major? Will he catch Jack Nicklaus? Will he challenge on the weekend during this major?
Whether you're a Tiger Woods fan or not, you have to admit there is more intrigue when he is in the field. If it weren't for Tiger, golf would not be as popular as it is today. Of course, the purists and genuine, to-the-core golfers have loved and will always love the game with Tiger or without, but The Open Championship with Tiger Woods will capture even more headlines, whether he struggles or wins. Majors without Tiger are a lot like the World Cup without Neymar. Oh wait, unfortunately that did happen. Here are the other stories we'll be following at this year's third major championship:
- Will a star emerge? Purists likely love all of the good golf that has been played by so many different golfers. Jimmy Walker. Patrick Reed. Hideki Matsuyama. Jordan Spieth. Martin Kaymer. Bubba Watson. The list goes on, but there's no sign of a must-see star who we have to watch every week. Rory McIlroy seemed poised to take the thrown for so long, but his inconsistencies have dulled his shine. Bubba Watson is probably the closest one to being a full-on star with his second green jacket this year. Can he recapture his precision off the tee to pick up a second major win of the year at Royal Liverpool?
- Will there be some competition? Unless you're a die-hard Martin Kaymer fan, most golf fans would consider the weekend results of the U.S. Open rather dull to say the least. Kaymer truly ran away with the tournament. It's hard to believe that one golfer will separate himself from the field at The Open. If Tiger hangs around and the leaderboard gets crowded, we could see some big TV ratings on the weekend.
- Will the conditions make the course the star? As much as we all love to watch brilliantly played golf, shot after shot landing four feet from the pin, sometimes it's nice to see the big guys struggle a bit. It reminds us that the players are human and makes some of us feel a bit better about our own games. If the cold winds are howling in the wrong direction off the Irish Sea, it's certainly possible that we could see some ugly golf by the world's best players. While it wouldn't necessarily be fun to watch four days of rough conditions, one day of drastic weather conditions would do well to remind us what the game can be like at golf's oldest major.
The Open Championship truly has something for every golf fan. Risk, shot-making, weather, star players, grinders, and yes, probably even Tiger Woods. It should all make for a classic tournament. So rearrange your schedule a bit so you can wake up early to watch some world-class golf. From the storm, a champion will emerge.