Time To Open

Sparkling or still?

 

It’s the question asked at any restaurant in Europe before you place the napkin on your lap and reveals more than you might think about your character. If you haven’t visited London, Paris or Madrid, take it from me – water is a key part of the meal.

 

And let’s get one thing straight before we take a look at a preview of the Open Championship. The name of the golf tournament is not “the British Open.” It’s the Open Championship. Trust me, I’ve been over there. I have a badge and everything. Even ABC has started to call it by the correct name in its telecast. Prepare to be mocked if you call it “the British Open” this weekend.

 

As the third major unfolds on the lightly used Turberry course in Scotland, many questions bubble to the surface.

 

Will Tiger Woods, without a major win in over a year, break his mini-drought? Can Padraig Harrington, winner of the last two Open Championships, pick up his third Claret Jug while flying under the radar as a defending champion? Can we possibly see a new face hoist the most prestigious trophy in golf on Sunday?

 

If you are into Pellegrino as your table water, odds are you like Tiger Woods to take home his 4th Open Championship in his short, but phenomenal career. Woods didn’t play in the Open Championship last year as he was nursing a brutal knee injury that kept him off the course for about 10 months. The headline that Tiger hasn’t seen Turnberry in his life won’t matter much once play begins on Thursday. These guys are touring pros who play practice rounds for three days and have caddies measure every inch of the golf course. The challenge for Woods comes on the green. Can Tiger find his old putting stroke and land on the 18th green with a shot to win the tournament?

 

On the other hand, Evian isn’t such a bad choice as your table water. Even though it lacks bubbles, you usually have a sense of refreshment after a glass or two of Evian. Hunter Mahan only has one career PGA TOUR victory, but no one (including Tiger Woods) has a better hot streak in 2009 than Mahan. Shooting a 62 in the final round of Tiger’s tournament at Congressional two weeks ago, Mahan announced that he’ll be in the picture to challenge for major championships for the next decade. Finishing in the top 10 in both the Master’s and U.S. Open, Mahan looks ready for a breakout week in Scotland.

 

Regardless of who walks away with the jug on Sunday evening, no one can top Brett Quigley’s Open Championship story this week. Thanks to good fortune on Sunday, Quigley earned a spot in the field.

 

 It’s a shame he won’t use it.

 

Quigley promised his friend and fellow pro Chris Smith that he would attend his wife’s memorial service this week in Milwaukee. After the tournament on Sunday, Quigley literally had a couple of minutes to change his entire schedule for this week or stay with his friend in his time of need. Quigley said his heart wasn’t into playing the Open Championship.

 

Sometimes you can be sparkling and still at the same moment.

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