THE Open

With all due respect to the Brits and their insistence that the British Open simply be known as "The Open," there's no nearly the excitement or interest in yours as their is in ours.

And that's not just me, the obnoxious American, talking. It's also me the obnoxious golf fan.

See, I just can't get excited about seeing guys struggling to avoid going to +10. I can double bogey holes, guys! I watch golf to see excellent shot making and skilled players. And when Greg fricking Norman is leading a major after 54 holes, that indicates that something is amiss. When the younger, more talented players simply cannot hack it because the conditions are just ridiculous, it's not fun anymore. It's not fun for the players, for sure, and it's not fun for me to watch.

Word came out on Saturday night that course officials were going to check things out on Sunday morning and were considering suspending play if the winds reached their potential of 50 MPH gusts. That's kind of stupid. Guys were backing off of putts because the wind would begin to move their balls! And when the wind moves my balls, I call it a day. (Heh.)

Now, I know, there are golf fans out there who will claim this is a true test of skill.... that the atrocious northwestern England weather "levels the playing field."

They're wrong.

If the Indianapolis 500 was raced in six inches of snow, would that be a great leveler? Would that show some real driving skill? I suppose so, but would be an enjoyable race? (Actually, that's a bad example because I think that would make me watch it... but you get my point.)

In the end, Padraig Harrington won his second straight Open, and he shot a 32 on the back nine to do it, which is kind of nice and a lot better than the way he won last year, with Sergio choking.

And then there's poor Greg Norman. I've never been a fan of Norman, but I do distinctly remember his various choke jobs over the years. The guys a tremendously talented golfer who simply cannot finish. He's the anti-Tiger: He's taken the 54 hole lead into Sunday eight times in his career -- he is 1-7 in those tourneys. Yikes.

However, I'm sure Chris Evert, his new bride, will make him feel like a champion who can finish.


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