These three weeks are fast becoming my favorite in the golf calendar.
I remember as a boy waking up on a Saturday morning and turning to NBC to watch my cartoons only to be confronted by “Breakfast at Wimbledon.” Although it hacked me off then, as I got older (and became a rabid sports fan) I appreciated how cool it was to get up and have breakfast, watch a major sporting event, and then have the whole day ahead of you (England is 6 hours ahead of us). Of all the things that would make living in Hawaii a dream, the fact that you can watch an NFL double-header AND THEN go play 18 holes is near the top of my list (we’re what, 6-7 hours ahead?).
Anyway, back to golf. This past week saw some of golf’s biggest stars participating in The Scottish Open at amazing Royal Aberdeen-in anticipation of this week’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. The women had their British Open at a BRUTAL Royal Birkdale; and next week the British Men’s Senior Open will be conducted. All of these being contested before lunch here in the States-awesome.
And this is links golf. Outside of maybe, Bandon Dunes in the Pacific Northwest, there are NO OPPORTUNITIES to play it for us. Links golf is a game played on the ground almost as much as in the air. Normally, pro golfers complain about getting a bad bounce/break in a tournament. In links golf in the UK, EVERY shot gets a bad bounce, so it’s all even and there’s nothing to complain about. Also, the weather is at times APOCALYPTIC, and unlike over here…they just continue to play in it.
Yesterday, Justin Rose solidified his place as the favorite to win The Open Championship with a more-than-impressive win in the Scottish Open. However, Phil Mickelson played well and will defend his latest major title this week. And if you’re not buying Rickie Fowler stock, you should be. I get the feeling watching him play the last several months that all the swing work he’s done over the last year with Butch Harmon is starting to take hold and he’s on the cusp of something special.
There will be lots to talk about in relation to golf’s oldest (and to the world, most prestigious) championship, but the big story on this day is Mo Martin.
Melissa “Mo” Martin. A career journey-woman on the professional women’s mini-tours, who at age 29 won her first tourney yesterday at historic Royal Birkdale in the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
It wasn’t that she just won, it was THE WAY she won. This is the stuff of fairy tales. Down two on the par-5 18th, she hits a 3-metal for the ages that almost goes in, hits the stick, and sets her up for an eagle that…when a couple of players folded down the stretch, won her the tournament.
Will this be the start of a run for her? Maybe, but I doubt it. This was lightening striking, and it was great. Great for Mo. Great for golf. And GREAT for the LPGA as this is the first time in forever that the first three majors of the season have been won by American golfers (Lexi Thompson and Michele Wie won the Kraft Nabisco and US Women’s Open respectively).
Check out “Mo’s Miracle” below, and we’ll see ya “On The Green” on WFNZ Saturday morning.
On Twitter: @WFNZGolfGuy