British Open Recap
July 21, 2014
By Dan Daly
Editor's Note: Be sure to follow @_DanDaly on Twitter this golf season for his off-the-cuff remarks and entertaining commentary!
I haven't seen the TV ratings yet for the weekend but I certainly hope they were off the charts. If four of the most popular players on tour outside of Tiger (Rory, Fowler, Sergio, Scott) all finish in the top 5 and they still get bad ratings without Tiger in contention then there is absolutely no hope going forward.
I said last week about Rory, 'When he wins, he has a good second round; it's as simple as that.' Rory shooting an opening round 66 for the outright lead was about as surprising as John Daly wearing Spongebob Squarepants Pants, but when he followed that up with another 66 Friday this thing was all but over. Rory's best is simply better than anyone else on tour and it's not even close (See 2011 US Open and 2012 PGA). And man was he at his best this week at Hoylake.
The other part of Rory's game that he doesn't get near enough credit for is his ability to put it into 5th gear when he needs to. Tiger did it better than anyone I have ever seen but Rory isn't too far behind. The second Fowler caught him on Saturday morning Rory flipped the switch and played the last 5 holes in four under to go from being tied to sleeping on a 54-hole six shot lead and put this tournament to bed. It was eerily similar to Tiger's back nine on Saturday afternoon at the 2008 US Open.
With that said the one thing I am already sick of in less than 24 hours is the comparisons to Jack and Tiger. Yes, they are the only three players at age 25 or younger to win three or more majors, win three legs of career grand slam and win a major by eight or more shots. Yes, Rory is an incredible talent. Yes, Rory will probably win the career grand slam and possibly even win double digit majors. Yes, Rory's "A game" is unbeatable on tour right now and probably for the next 10 years. Yes, he is the first European player ever to win three different major championships. But no, Rory is not Jack or Tiger. And honestly it's not even close. The inconsistency in Rory's game compared to Jack and Tiger is miles apart. Not to mention when Tiger was 24 he completed the career Grand Slam at the 2000 British Open, two years ahead of the age that Jack was when he completed the feat and one year ahead of Rory winning just his third major overall. Tiger also went on to win the 2000 PGA and 2001 Masters. In other words Tiger had six majors at this point in his career…or twice as many as Rory. Tiger went on to win eight more in the next seven years. I say this not as a knock against Rory or as a Tiger apologist, I say this because with all that said Tiger is STILL four majors behind Jack.
I like Rory a lot, and I love watching him when he is on like he was this week at Hoylake but to put him in the category with arguably the two greatest golfers of all-time is not only silly, it's just plain dumb. As I just said, I think Rory will win the career grand slam at some point and probably 10 or so majors which quite frankly would make him one of the 5 or 10 best golfers of all-time but even those two things are big 'if's' at this point in his career. So let's all just tap the breaks for a second and be realistic.
But hey, he did win his dad and his dad's friends an a$$ load of money.
With his win, Rory moved to #2 in the world…which leaves not a single American in the top 5 in the world rankings (Bubba is #6). But by all means, please keep telling me what good hands the game of golf is in here in the United States without Tiger.
Tiger finished a mere 23 shots behind Rory, or 24 shots behind himself from 2006. But hey, that's only 6 shots a round, no big deal. Well, other than the fact that it was the furthest back he's ever finished in a major where he made the cut.
As for my longshot, the big easy. Well, let's just say he got off to the worst start humanly possible. Ernie's British Open started and ended on the first hole this week. His opening tee shot almost killed a guy when he hit him square in the face on the fly and then finished the hole by doing this.
So yeah, he was never going to recover from that. Frankly it's a miracle he made 36 holes.
Henrik Stenson at his Wednesday press conference said, "It's going to be a long four days and you've got to keep your patience." He made it all the way to the 17th hole Thursday before going Bo Jackson on his sand wedge.
I'm extremely disappointed in my man Rickie Fowler. Not because he didn't win for me but because he grew back that horrible goatee on his face which is without a doubt what kept him from winning this weekend. With that said Fowler is the first player to finish in the top 5 of each of the year's first three majors since Tiger Woods in 2005…however Tiger did win two of the three. The good news for Fowler though is that he is so close to winning a major, I mean he has to breakthrough and win sooner than later right? Just ask Sergio Westwood. Sunday marked Sergio's sixth top-3 finish in a major and 10th career top-5. Westwood with eight is the only player with more top-3 finishes and without a major.
That's right folks, another major has come and gone and our favorite golfer Sergio Westwood is still 0-fer the Majors. I know I'm shocked.
Finally, not to be outdone by Rory, Caroline Wozniacki won the Istanbul Cup tennis tournament on Sunday as well…so take that Rory! She also took a cheap shot at Rory last week by posting a picture of herself on Instagram with the caption 'Out and about in Istanbul. It's been three years since I have worn high heels on a normal day out. #feelsgood #looksgood #shopping #highheels #sun.'
Yes Caroline, he may be short but when it comes to life I assure you that he is winning. Not only did he just win the British Open but even more impressive in my book is the fact that he "rebounded" from you with one of the hottest models on the planet in Nadia Forde.
That's basically like losing the Scottish Open only to come back and win the British Open the following week. Oh, he did that too.
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