The Open 2006
The Open 2006
THE truest measure of any championship course is the quality of its leader board and, ultimately, its champion. By those counts alone, Hoylake passed every test. Seven days ago, the best golfer on the planet became the 135th Open champion, and six of the top ten finishers were ranked in the world's leading 13. In terms of identifying superior ability and technique, Royal Liverpool's links more than did the job, fully justifying its return to the Open rota after 39 years in exile.
IT was no great surprise that Tiger Woods won his 11th Major title by winning the Open Championship last week at Hoylake.
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ROYAL Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake has re-established itself on the British Open rota and may host the event again within the next ten years, Royal & Ancient Chief Executive Peter Dawson said today.
IN the city that gave birth to the Fab Four, there was only one man for the job.
THE best that can be said is that, with two of the best three players in the world in the group behind them, Chris DiMarco and Retief Goosen had nothing to lose. For them, the second last pairing in the third round of the 135th Open Championship at Hoylake, anything and everything represented a bonus.
WE SHOULD all be used to the disappointment by now. It is a long time, a really long time, since an Open started with the expectation that it would be won by a British player. And yet still we all seem to be surprised that golf's greatest prize is about to elude the home challengers once more.
SPAIN'S young matador Sergio Garcia stole the thunder of the Big Two at Hoylake yesterday with a swashbuckling 65 that gave him a sight of a first major victory going into the final day of the 135th Open.
I SPEND my days fighting the cut. One shot, two shots, three shots, I'm on the bubble every week. Nearly every tournament this year has been the same. Will I make it, will I not? What I would give to play in a major and not have to scrap like this. What I would give to come out here and take control and not have to look over my shoulder.
GOLF'S failure to earn Olympic recognition has been credited by some IOC sources to their weak international governing body.
THE sure sign that Ernie Els's ailments, mental and physical, were at last close to being healed came Friday afternoon at Hoylake. Walking to the first tee he would have known the bitter truth about the Open championship. Tiger Woods had a hold of it. And when Woods gets a hold of a major so early it is not his form to let it go. Els, like the rest of the field, knew this.
THE Strangers Book is an inch-thick 30-year-old ledger, with tatty edges and yellowing pages, that all guests must sign on arrival at Royal Liverpool's red-walled clubhouse.
MENTION the word Turnberry to any golfer and only one name comes to mind: Tom Watson. The winner when the Open Championship paid its inaugural visit to the Ayrshire resort in 1977, the now 56-year-old Kansan also took first place in the 2003 Senior British Open over the Ailsa course and, this week, he will return to defend the title he won for a second time at Royal Aberdeen 12 months ago.
IT WAS evening-time on Friday when Tom Lehman dragged himself in from the course, a late start and a painfully slow round ensuring that night was beginning to fall when eventually he signed his card. Lehman wasn't in the best of form and you could understand why. Still the right side of the cut standing on the 14th tee, America's Ryder Cup captain stumbled his way home, a six on the 18th taking him out of the tournament at the halfway point.
ALEX HARVEY needs to have the steadiest hands in golf. But he doesn't wield a putter - his weapon of choice is a scalpel.
NICK Dougherty, the only Liverpool-born player in the Open, made an early departure from it, suffering a sixth successive missed cut.
AMERICAN Chris DiMarco did what was required on the second day of the Open when he carded a course-record 65. The problem for the 37-year-old was that championship leader Tiger Woods and second-placed Ernie Els both equalled the record later in the day.
THE genuine contenders for the Open championship are those who are able to overcome the deep sense of futility that must descend when starting their round at a time when Tiger Woods has already disappeared over the horizon.
DAVID Duval has been saying all year his golf has been a lot better than his scores and yesterday at the Open was no different for him.
NORWAY'S Marius Thorp and Italian Edoardo Molinari will fight it out for the silver medal awarded to the leading amateur at the Open.
FOR 32 years the last minute engraving of the name of the winner of the Open was the job of Alex Harvey, a master engraver from Perth, yet this weekend, his tools will pass, like a trusty set of clubs, from father to son.