42-year old Darren Clarke won his first Open Championship in 20 attempts this past weekend. The Northern Irishman took inspiration from the incredible play of Irish players in majors over the past few years (6 of the last 17 majors have been won by Irishmen) and pulled off an unlikely but heartwarming victory on Sunday.
Interestingly, Chubby Chandler manages Schwartzel, McIlroy, and Clarke, giving him the first 3 legs of the “Chubby Slam”. Should we start placing bets on Lee Westwood at the PGA?
It’s that time of year again. On Thursday, the oldest major, The Open Championship (aka The British Open) kicks off.
This year, the Open Championship returns to Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, England for the 13th time since 1894. The last time the Open was held here in 2003, it produced one of the most unlikely champions in its history, Ben Curtis.
Is Curtis one of my picks this week? Read on to find out.
Prior to Padraig Harrington winning the Open Championship in 2007, no Irish golfer had won a major in 60 years. Since that victory, Irish golfers have now won 5 of the last 16 major championships. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it.
CNN recently took a look at the reasons behind the success of Irish golf. Video after the break:
The BBC ran an hour long documentary on Rory McIlory last night entitled Major Breakthrough. It’s available online here, but you have to be located in the UK to watch it.
However, I did find a really cool sneak peek clip of Rory showing off his amazing backyard practice facility. Unfortunately, I can’t embed the video, but definitely hit up the link if you have a couple of minutes and prepare to be blown away.
Rory made an appearance on Piers Morgan last night. It was interesting interview. Rory seems relaxed and ready to go play well at the Open Championship.
I’ll give him a pass on not reading a book during the past year though. He has been a little bit busy. In case you missed it, there’s a video clip below the break:
If Rory McIlroy is the next Tiger, could Patrick Cantlay be the next Phil Mickelson? After all, no amateur has won on the PGA Tour since Mickelson in 1991.
Cantlay, who just finished up his freshman year at UCLA and was low amateur at last week’s US Open, appears poised to follow in Phil’s footsteps this weekend. He fired off a course-record 60 at the TPC River Highlands en-route to taking a 1 shot lead at the Travelers Championship.
“The Americans have Tiger Woods. We have young Rory.”
Full video after the jump:
Over 2 years ago, Tiger told Golf.com that he thought a then 19-year old Rory McIlroy had the tools to become the best player in the world:
“There’s no doubt,” Woods said. “But hopefully it’s not while I’m around,” he added, laughing.
“Certainly he has the talent. We can all see it. The way he hits the ball, the way he putts, the way he can chip, and get up-and-down. He has the composure and all the components to be the best player in the world. It’s just a matter of time and experience and then gaining that experience in big events. That just takes time and, I mean, geez, he’s only 19. Just give him some time and I’m sure he’ll be there.”
I’m not sure if Tiger thought that a mere 2 years later Rory would be turning the US Open into a clinic while he himself would be in the middle of the longest winless streak of his career and would have fallen outside of the top 10 in the world. But there you have it.