Fab Four Open review
Royal Liverpool GC once again hosted a magnificent Open Championship. Not as dry as in in 2006, but the course was once again in wonderful shape.
Matt Cooper rounds up the action and pays homage to local legends, The Beatles.
Carry That Weight
Seaside weather is fickle – it helps some and hinders others.
And so it proved on Thursday and Friday, with plenty of luck in the draw.
There was vivid proof from the scores returned on the final three holes. The first nine groups to play them on Friday morning (in high wind) were a collective 22-over-par (and one man down because Michael Hoey had retired).
And the final nine groups? They played the same holes (in nothing more than a breeze) in 15-under-par.
I Call Your Name
Not in this year’s third round.
Poor Ivor Robson only got to announce half the field when a two-tee start was hastily arranged.
The bad news for Ivor: the end of a tradition.
The good news: he could risk a cuppa at breakfast.
There was a bit of a to-do in the mixed zone on Sunday: Victor Dubuisson had a spat with the French press about how they portray him before finally – and reluctantly – discussing his final round.
The Fool On The (Sand) Hill
The idiot who heckled Rory McIlroy all through the final round, including a top-of-the-backswing cough on the 16th tee. McIlroy pointed him out and he was kicked off the course.
Dizzy Miss Lizzy
A member of the catering staff was explaining to a colleague that he’d been hit on the head by a stray ball in practice.
“When I started seeing stars,” he said. “I knew I’d got percussion.”
As John Lennon once said: “Ringo isn’t even the best concussionist in the Beatles.”
Tiger Woods finished 69th.
All You Need is (G)Love
On Saturday Phil Mickelson went into wet weather mode and wore two of them.
Story of the week from a local newspaper diary.
The headline: “Mayor has a hot lunch.”
The story: “Wirral mayor Cllr Steve Foulkes was understood to be suffering after air conditioning packed up during a lunch at the Open.”
The bizarre detail: “His heavy mayoral chains stopped him removing his jacket while diners sweltered in the heat as they enjoyed their beef in truffle sauce.”
The Ballad of John (And Yoko)
Local hero and factory worker John Singleton scrambled like a superstar for two days, but couldn’t quite make the cut.
He finished birdie-birdie-par-birdie, however, to earn a standing ovation from the fans packing the final hole grandstands.
When I’m Sixty Four
64-year-old Tom Watson not only made the cut, he also shot a final-round four-under-par 68.
Dustin Johnson burst into life on Friday with a seven-under-par 65 and then spent the weekend slipping slowly backwards.
A Hard Day’s Night
The pubs, bars and cafes of Hoylake and West Kirby were buzzing for most of the week. The Wro Lounge was the sophisticated choice. Paloma’s had the best DJ and live music.
And if you wanted to know what it’s like to be a woman in Italy, Shaker’s was the smart choice. Had my bum pinched twice whilst getting served at the bar.
Castro made his Open Championship debut.
Roberto Castro, that is.
Not A Second Time
Well, err, yes actually.
In 2006 Sergio Garcia eagled the par-four second hole.
He very nearly did it in round one this year.
And then *did* do it in round two.
Peter Alliss and the Daily Mail’s Charles Sale had a bit of a ding-dong all week (Sale highlighted an error Alliss made in commentary, Alliss snapped back with a comment about an “inky fisted peasant scribe”), which led to Sale repeating the little known fact that Alliss once wrote a Jilly Cooper-style bonkbuster.
His 1983 novel ‘The Duke’ involves a player called Duke Denton trying to repel a youngster called Johnny Cornell, who wants Denton’s trophies.
And his trophy wife as well.
Your Mother Should Know
In his victory speech on the 18th green Rory McIlroy said:
“This is the first major I have won when my mum has been here. So mum; this one is for you.”
McIlroy said on Thursday that he had two words in his head for the week and on Sunday he revealed what they were:
“It’s going to be a big letdown for everyone. It was “process” and “spot”.
“With my long shots I just wanted to stick to my process and stick to making good decisions, making good swings.
“And then “spot” was for my putting. I was just picking a spot on the green and trying to roll it over my spot. I wasn’t thinking about holing it. I wasn’t thinking about what it would mean or how many further clear it would get me. I just wanted to roll that ball over that spot. If that went in, then great. If it didn’t, then I’d try it the next hole.”
Don’t Pass Me By
McIlroy went wire-to-wire.
Rory McIlroy: 2014 Open Champion.
A nice birdie-fest – Tiger Woods expecting low scoring Hero World Challenge
Woods withdrew on Monday due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
Adam Scott relishing chance to experience a career first at the Australian Open
The tournament sees men, women and golfers with disabilities competing on the same course at the same time.
Tiger Woods backs up Rory McIlroy and says LIV Golf boss Greg Norman ‘has to go’
Woods called McIlroy a ‘true leader’ as he spoke out about the Saudi-funded breakaway.
Tiger Woods withdraws from Hero World Challenge due to foot problem
The former world number one has not played since the Open Championship in July.
Tiger Woods to partner son Charlie in next month’s PNC Championship
Woods has not played since the Open Championship in July.
I want to fulfil my dreams – Adam Scott in no mood to lower expectations
Scott is seeking a third Australian PGA Championship title this week in his native Queensland.
Nicolas Colsaerts named a vice-captain for Europe’s Ryder Cup team
The Belgian joins Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari on Luke Donald’s staff.
Ireland’s Ancient East: Golf attractions alongside stunning beauty of Kildare
Ireland has a rich mix of tourist attractions across its varied and beautiful terrain.
Rory McIlroy crowned top golfer in Europe despite Jon Rahm claiming Dubai title
The Spaniard’s two-shot victory over England’s Tyrrell Hatton and Sweden’s Alex Noren was his third in six years at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Leona Maguire shoots day’s best to tie Lydia Ko in chasing LPGA’s largest prize
Maguire is chasing her second title while Ko is close to claiming her second straight LPGA Tour player of the year.