Redmond: What We Learned from the British Open

Morikawa
AP Photo/Peter Morrison

Collin Morikawa was tough down the stretch, making clutch par after par, and held off a determined Jordan Spieth to win the 149th British Open at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England.

Louie Oosthuizen started the day with a one-stroke lead but was unable to get anything going and finished in a tie for 3rd place. 

Here’s what we took away from the 4 days on the English coast: 

    1. Collin Morikawa is rock solid.  It’s not easy to be chased with a lead in a golf tournament, especially when it’s a bulldog-like Spieth doing the chasing. This 24-year old is special and will win a few more majors. Normally, I would say he’ll win quite a few, but the talent in golf is so immense; who knows what will happen going forth. There is no comparison to the days of Jack Nicklaus- back then, you could moonlight as a golfer and still win major championships. Orville Moody was a Sergeant in the Army in 1967 and 2 years later was a U.S. Open Champion. There is no comparison between the depths of field then and now.  Even during Tiger’s glory years, he didn’t have to face nearly the competition guys do today. Winning a major championship is harder now than it ever has been. 
    2. For the 2nd time Morikawa has taken what should have been exhilarating, nail-biting, final holes in a major and made them somewhat boring. The 2020 PGA had great names at the top of the leaderboard (DJ, Bryson, Jason Day) and was primed for a fantastic finish until Collin eagled the 16th hole and calmly ran away with the victory. So it’s sort of frustrating for golf fans because there’s nothing more fun than the closing holes of a back-and-forth major championship. 
    3. Jordan Spieth deserves all the credit in the world for his stellar play. Only a handful of players would’ve held off his charge (Koepka, Morikawa, obviously, maybe Justin Thomas, and maybe Jon Rahm). He made every big putt and is the rare player that thrives under pressure. Yes, we all know about the 2016 Masters, but that was an anomaly, and he quickly won a British Open the next year in dramatic fashion. Also, in 2018 Spieth almost put together the greatest golf round in history in the final round of the Masters. After a run of 5 consecutive birdies on the back nine, he came to the 18th hole needing a birdie to shoot 62! Unfortunately, he got unlucky and hit a tree branch on his tee shot and made bogey. Oh, what could’ve been. He will win another major and soon. By the way, Henrik Stenson played the greatest round of golf ever with his 63 in the final round of the 2016 British Open to hold off Phil Mickelson. 
  1. It would’ve been interesting to see if Louis Oosthuizen or DylanFrittelliwon would NBC have talked about the upheavals in their homeland of South Africa. Would either golfer have mentioned it in their victory speech? It certainly wasn’t a storyline going into the final day.  
  2. Brooks Koepka had another great performance in a major championship. He has to be the favorite to win any major championship for the next 3 years at least. Being that strong, skilled, and immune to pressure is quite a package. He needs to lay off Bryson, however. Bryson would be wise to work on Krav Maga in the offseason to handle this Brooks situation himself. Has there ever been fisticuffs on a golf course between major champions? I know there was a driving range incident in 1991 at a Senior event between notorious hot head Dave Hill and J.C. Snead, but that’s about it.  
  3. Why does every golfer feel the need to wear a hat? Do they really need to suck up every advertising dollar available? Some of these guys have really nice heads of hair. Robert Rock had an elite head of hair and never wore a hat because he played to his strengths. Dare to be different.  
  4. 7. Rory disappointed once again. What’s new? He is the anti-Spieth. Unbelievably talented but just doesn’t hit the shots or make the putts when he needs to. Hopefully, he will get things straightened out at the 2022 Masters as he would be a worthy career grand-slam winner.  
  5. 8. The close of the final major of the year is always depressing for golf fans. We have to wait 9 months for The Masters in April. Then, there is the Olympics, but nobody seems all that excited now that there will be no fans in attendance. Finally, there is the Ryder Cup in September, so that’s something to look forward to watching.  

 

Dan Redmond covers golf for Breitbart and can be found on Twitter @danfromdc 

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