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Thursday, July 7, 2011

The 140th Open Championship at Sandwich

The best in the world are back to Royal St. George's (or Sandwich) near Pegwell Bay in the south of England for the Open Championship or "The British" as it is often called in the US. The list of winners above shows several stand outs, notably in the modern era, Norman's final round 64 in 1993. The pre-war winners include a couple of the greatest ever including Hagen, Vardon and Cotton - check out those final round winning scores of 80 and 79 - I guess the British weather moved in!
TV coverage on ESPN starts at 4:30 am on Thursday and for those who haven't seen Sandwich you will see (IMHO) one of the weakest courses of the Open rota. Yes, the finish is tough, but there are only a few memorable holes. One of them, the 4th, for example, featuring 2 massive bunkers, one of which is named "Big Bertha". Against the wind it's a big carry from the back tee!
Hagan said it best,
"The first 9 holes were tremendous fun but not very good golf and the second 9 were tremendous golf but no fun at all"
As for the winner, I favor one of the Europeans on form, Westwood, Donald, McIIroy. I also like the Aussies including Jason Day who I watched for 36 holes at Congressional and watch for Justin Rose - he's coming into form and can play links golf!

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