Wide Open Championship

Please do me a small favor and call this weekend’s golf tournament The Open Championship. It’s not the British Open.

 

I’ve been to St. Andrews in Scotland for the third major of the season and saw Tiger Woods win the Claret Jug in 2000. Fresh off destroying the field by 15 strokes at the U.S. Open earlier that year at Pebble Beach, Woods battled Thomas Bjorn and David Duval in the final round and won his first Open Championship on the most historic golf course in the world.

 

Guess how many times I heard the phrase “British Open” over in Scotland during the weekend I was lucky enough to walk St. Andrews with my father?

 

Not once.

 

This includes my Dad, who still slips up every now and then.

 

Then again, nobody slips up more than Sergio Garcia.

 

The 28-year-old winner of The Players Championship runs into England as the odds-on favorite to win the championship. I’m not sure our good friends at Ladbrokes saw the end of the tournament last year.

 

With Padraig Harrington already in the water on the final hole, Garcia needed to drill a 12-foot putt for his first major championship. Nope. The swinging Spaniard choked in the playoff which left Paddy with the trophy and Garcia with another disappointing finish.

 

Before Phil Mickelson won his first major championship, most considered Lefty T.B.P.N.T.H.W.A.M. or “the best player never to have won a major.”  Now that honor belongs to a player who crumbles at crunch time. Mickelson used to hate Sunday’s until he finally got his head on straight and just played his game.

 

Now it’s Sergio’s turn. He’s playing the best golf of his entire life at a time when Tiger Woods won’t be in the field, or even the same country. Plus he loves this course. Garcia made the cut when Birkdale last hosted the Open Championship in ’98.

 

Without a major almost ten years since he challenged Tiger Woods in his coming out party at the PGA Championship, Garcia still looks for the first major.

 

Can he put it together at the Open Championship?

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