Monday, July 18, 2011

Review – 2011 Open Championship

Well the Open Championship has come and gone for another year.  Despite the weather, the organizers pulled of yet another successful staging of golf’s third major of the year.  CONGRATULATIONS to Darren Clarke for a GREAT victory.  Who would have thought that there would be three different players from Northern Ireland as the five most recent major winners?  So my prediction was a little off in terms of the overall winner, but at least I got the country of origin of the winner correct. J  Also I was pleased to see yet another major winner from the European Tour, despite a strong showing from Phil Mickelson during the early stages of the round yesterday.

However, I was most disappointed to see most of the favored players eliminated by means of the cut.  I find it strange that the cut would come with a difference of just eight strokes between the leader and the first group of golfers eliminated.  As was shown by Phil Mickelson during the first 10 holes yesterday, it is very possible to make up four or five strokes (or even six in his case) in a day, yet the tournament organizers chose to eliminate most of the better known players by means of the cut.  I think specifically of Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Ross Fisher, Padraig Harrington and Peter Hanson who were all eliminated by the cut on +4.  Sure, everyone knows the rules when they enter the Championship but I fail to understand why players within 10 strokes of the leader/s are not included in the final field for the weekend.  Certainly in such a case there is a potential for a large field during the final rounds, but then why not have a second cut after the third round?

Congratulations go to South African golfer George Coetzee who finished in 15th position.  I am pleased to have picked him for my European Tour Fantasy Team this week.  But who would have picked George Coetzee to be the leading South African at the 140th Open Championship?  Very few people I am sure.  I for one will be watching with interest as his career progresses.

I am now looking forward to the 93rd PGA Championship in August, to be held at the Atlanta Athletic Club.  I was at the front entrance to the Atlanta Athletic Club’s Eastlake Golf Club (the permanent home of the Tour Championship that decides the FedEx Cup) on my drive from Atlanta to Augusta for the US Masters.  Unfortunately I could not get into the golf course to visit their ProShop and neither was there a sign at the entrance in front of which I could stand to at least have a photo at the location.  I am hoping that during the PGA Championship my Fantasy Team will not be obliterated like it was during the Open Championship J.

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