The Open Championship 2011 Royal St. Georges

My favorite tournament of the year is finally here.  If I had one event I could win it would be the Open Championship - I just love the effects of the weather and the truly brilliant golf courses on the Open rota.  

Last time at St. Georges Ben Curtis was the grateful recipient of Thomas Bjorn's untimely demise in a greenside bunker.  By the way - has anybody seen or heard from Mr. Bjorn since that fateful day?

This year I really like the chances of the young guns and were I a betting man I would have a hard time going against these five:

Rory McIlroy - Golf's new golden boy.  He simply must be on everybody's shortlist of champion golfer candidates.  After the dominant showing at Congressional and last years showing at St. Andrews and this year at get the picture.

Louis Oosthuizen - Not sure why I like him as he hasn't done much in the year since holding the Claret Jug (top 10 at the US Open), but I just feel he'll be inspired to be playing major championship links golf.

Rickie Fowler - a stellar showing at last years Open Championship after a horrible opening round.  He is due for something good to happen...

Dustin Johnson - he's got to show up at some point this year in a major right?  I believe he'll come from out of nowhere to challenge this week.

Charl Schwartzel - okay I know I have two young South Africans on my list, maybe I'm biased, but who can argue with this pick.  A win and a top 10 in majors thus far this year.....I look for the bantamweight to be there come Sunday!

We can only hope for similar weather to last year - firm, fast and a stiff breeze off the Dover coast.  I love it!

Tee Times and Pairings

What fabulous terrain for a golf course! Just watching the Open Championship inspires me to take a golf break and get out and play some links golf. There is no better style of golf to play.  Enjoy!

If you are interested in playing a few of the Open Championship courses check out - Golf Breaks UK

Read more about the Open Championship....

Louis in a Landslide!

 Claret Joy!

Louis proved all the naysayers wrong! He held the lead in the Open Championship from the 7th hole on Friday and never once looked like he would relinquish his grip on the coveted Claret Jug. With the victory South Africa has their 20th major championship and he becomes the fourth South African to win "Champion Golfer of the Year" honors.

Paul Casey, the nearest challenger, was no match for the diminutive man from Mossel Bay. Shrekkie, as he is nicknamed, showed no sign of wavering on Sunday as he split the fairway early and often. He did exactly what was needed - stay ahead of the pressure (three shots or more) and never gave Casey any hint that he had a chance. That eagle on nine must have hurt!

Here are a few observations from the event:

  • The shot tracker feature off the 17th hole was phenomenal. A great idea that got even better when shown from the fairway. I got to a point where I could tell where balls would end up just by watching the tracker from the tee.
  • I think the 17th hole played a little too long and I believe the chaps at the R&A would agree. They showed their thoughts by not putting the flag beyond the Road Hole Bunker once.
  • Tom Watson did a fantastic job in the booth. He was the only one who came close to pronouncing Oosthuizen correctly, although it did look like John Daly picked out his outfit for Sunday.
  • I enjoyed the addition of Rocco Mediate on the telecast - he was fresh and unrehearsed.
  • Tom Weiskopf was insightful, but very dreary and slow and I felt he took away from the experience.
  • Ricky Fowler is a golfer for the future! What a great turn around after his poor start.
  • St. Andrews is the finest golf course on the planet - in my opinion. For almost 150 years it has withstood the challenges from the games finest and still continues to stand tall.
  • After the butchering of "Oosthuizen" by all who attempted it, the Champion Golfer will from now on be referred to as Louis - to go along with Tiger, Phil and Ernie!

Some may have thought the Open was drab, but I absolutely loved it. What can be better than a fresh young star winning on the best golf course in the best event?

Watch Louis' swing in slo-mo HERE and HERE