British Open (Or Open Championship, Whatever): 4 Winners, 4 Losers
I can't remember the last time I wrote about golf in this space. Honestly, if it didn't involve Tiger Woods, a Perkins waitress, and a nine iron through the driver's side window of an SUV, there's a decent chance I've never written about golf here. It's not that I don't like golf, it's just that I like football, WWE, pygmy goats and bath salts more.
So, congratulations, you're reading history!
Now, I don't know if it was history that we witnessed yesterday with Phil Mickelson at the British Open (or The Open Championship, whatever you want to call it), or just an historic final six holes, but whatever it was, it was cool. Going into the day, Lefty was a 20/1 shot to win the tournament, and he came back to not only win, but win by three strokes.
The guy who said on Saturday that even par would be good enough to win the Claret Jug wound up being the only guy under par for the whole tournament.
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Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Lee Westwood were playing golf for the final hour of the broadcast and it was meaningful for prize money purposes, and that's about it. Phil was that good -- because he teed off like 45 minutes before the leaders, he essentially turned the final hour of the telecast into the golf equivalent of NBA garbage time.
So, yes, Phil Mickelson turned Tiger Woods into Tracy McGrady. Bravo, Lefty.
As for everyone else, there were winners and there were losers, let's dissect them like a dead frog in biology class, shall we?
4. Scottish accents The trophy ceremony for the Open Championship, or any tournament held at Muirfield, has a floor of a B+ based solely on the Scottish accents of the presenters. There is no denying that the Scottish accent is the coolest of all the accents, and watching the closing ceremony on Sunday made me want to go sack York and then send someone's head in a basket to Longshanks...
Tiger coming close but failing at Majors is great for golf. Creates new stars, keeps Tiger struggles narrative going.
— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsRadio) July 21, 2013
Brilliant thought, and very true. This is actually a very simplified version of the formula that, by and large, WWE uses to get over their new stars. Use the veteran, more tenured guys to have great, compelling matches/storylines and ultimately the newer guy wins in the end. Voila, stars created! Of course, the key difference is that the WWE veteran guys are agreeing to put over the new stars. Tiger is reluctantly dog cussing his way to a fifth place finish.
So, yes, under this WWE/PGA analogy, Tiger Woods is Chris Jericho. Also, Phil is C.M. Punk ("Best in the world!"), Adam Scott is John Cena (Mercedes logo is the spinner belt), Jack Nicklaus is Ric Flair (18 time champion), and Rory McIlroy is Heath Slater (if you're not a WWE fan, just trust me, Rory has been Heath Slater lately).
Vegas bettors have lost more than $1.5 million on Tiger Woods futures over the past 18 majors [h/t @MattYoumans247]
— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) July 18, 2013
On my national radio show on Saturday morning on Yahoo! Sports Radio, R.J. further clarified that, roughly estimated, Vegas' action represents about one percent of the world's action on any given wager. So Tiger had actually lost bettors closer to $150 million over that time period, and with this past weekend's exploits that number escalated even further. Soon, we are going to need one of those Times Square style national debt tickers to calculate the amount of money Tiger bettors are losing each week.
1. 'MERICA! I'm still disappointed that we don't run Revolutionary War smack at the British every chance we get. I mean, those people ruled us with stiff dictatorship and we bravely freed ourselves. (I say "we" like I was there. Um, in spirit, I was.) Are you telling me there's a statute of limitations over talking shit about escaping the shackles of a ruthless mother land? Phil should have walked up to grab the trophy while humming the preamble to the Constitution "Schoolhouse Rock" style, and then pulled out a cartoon picture of George the Third, thrown it on the ground, whipped out his unit, and taken a leak on it while holding the Claret Jug over his head with one hand and making the "wolf pack" hand sign with the other. That's what I would have done.
NO MORE KINGS, BITCHES...
4. Adam Scott After teeing off in the second to last group alongside Tiger Woods with the championship in his sights on Sunday morning, Scott rode the wave of four birdies in five holes (from holes 7 through 11) to the outright lead. And then the castle came crumbling down. Four bogeys in a row from holes 13 through 16, including some easy putts where his
ridiculous looking belly putter failed him, were enough to knock Scott out of the running. You really have to feel for the guy, who will now return to one of his large homes to bang his smoking hot girlfriend and have to think about going a whole three months without a major. Poor guy.
3. The Claret Jug As Americans, I think the biggest disconnect between ourselves and the British, non-war category, might be how we each define "jug." For us, "jug" has a rustic, hillbilly connotation, a container used to hold illegally manufactured moonshine or provide a festive, bass sound when blown into by a member of a band using homemade instruments. (Also, yes, we are not afraid to use the term "jug" to describe an ample-sized female breast. Yes, I get it.) Conversely, the Open Championship's Claret Jug looks like the most expensive gift on a Fairfield County couple's wedding registry. It's a beautiful, almost majestic piece. If I were it, I'd be pissed to be called a "jug."
2. Tom Rinaldi Forget about the Sunday collapse of Tiger Woods, ESPN's resident cry-inducer Rinaldi was unable to get a single golfer to cry all weekend during sitdown interviews! This is way more unsettling than Tiger's major drought. And think about it -- Adam Scott's meltdown, Lee Westwood's continued major drought, I mean, the opportunities were ripe! Rinaldi was pulling out all the stops on Mickelson, too, bringing up the post-round hug with his wife (a cancer survivor, by the way), bringing up his kids, and Phil was able to repel all of it. If I were Rinaldi, I would have just resorted to interviewing Phil's caddy "Bones" after the round, because that dude could not turn the faucets off. He was a crying fool. For Rinaldi, it could have been the equivalent of a quarterback with accuracy issues throwing a simple five yard out pattern just to get some confidence going.
1. All of us Because somewhere, Rick Reilly is crafting a sonnet or some sort of iambic pentameter to describe the drama on Sunday, and much like this 1 minute, 22 second pile of rancid, poetic horse shit he concocted to "describe" a heart-pounding Super Bowl, it will totally suck the life out of a phenomenal Sunday of golf at Muirfield:
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
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