LAMM AT LARGE: The Open Championship

LAMM AT LARGE: The Open Championship

By: David Lamm

I’ve been as guilty as anyone talking about how today’s PGA Tour has more top-tier players than ever. Indeed, the list of incredible golfers who teed off in the British Open is amazing.

But then an old-timer, a friend of mine, pointed out today isn’t all that different than 20-30 years ago. I thought about launching into a good debate, but I caught myself.

Maybe I ought to take a good look back to, say, 1989 – 30 years ago – to support my case. It didn’t take me long to realize my argument wasn’t as strong as I thought.

By 1989, Palmer was a memory and Nicklaus was well past his prime, but . . .

Among the upper crust of Tour players that year were, in no particular order, Seve, Crenshaw, Langer, Lyle, Watson, Fuzzy, Strange, Faldo Norman, Trevino, Couples, Calcavecchi, Price, Wadkins, Azinger, Payne, O’Meara, Kite, Sutton, Jose Maria, Green and Nelson, Larry not Byron.

I know I’ve left someone out. Whatever, I didn’t bring up the subject to my friend again.

The Open Championship

I’ve had the good fortune to play golf in Ireland. Let me tell you from someone who played a lot of golf throughout North America, it’s a different game across the pond.

I remember hitting what I thought were excellent drives and then not being able to find the balls. Some I did find were in deep pothole bunkers in the middle of what the Irish call fairways.

I remember chip shots rolling . . . and rolling . . . and rolling and winding up farther away from the cup than my original effort.

Oh, I cussed Irish and links golf. Called the courses cow pastures. Sworn after this trip I’d never do it again. But I did.

The more I played, the more I appreciated this type of golf. Yeah, I hit what I thought were bad shots and wound up in great shape.

Multiply the talent of the players in the Open, which starts in the middle of our night, by a dozen or more, and you can better understand what they’ll face.

(By the way, Adam Scott was my pretournament pick to win.)