Sunday, July 20, 2008

I'm Homesick For Manicured Fairways

A few weeks ago I made the argument that there's no reason to watch the PGA Tour the rest of the year because Tiger's out of the mix and the game lacks any character(s), with its weekly rotating leaderboard of parity. Ever the stubborn golf fan, I tried giving this year's British Open a chance. I tried hard to talk myself into watching whether 53-year-old Greg Norman would hold off the defending champion.

I'm sure Padraig Harrington played well, I just didn't care to watch.

I turned away from the event for the excitementless field and because I've never enjoyed watching the British Open's greenary. I realize British Open golf courses are as old as the game itself, but it's just not that pretty to watch. Chalk it up to American overindulgence or just better weather, but I like manicured fairways, pine trees, and distinguishable course layouts. I know the British Open let's us watch pros make their way around a Links-style course, hitting low shots to handle the 30 MPH wind and tremendous up-and-downs out of 8-foot tall pot bunkers, but I'll take arching shots along Bermuda grass anyday.

For the record, the American media folks, I'm looking at you Mike Tirico, need to stop kissing the backside of the Brits by calling the British Open, "The Open Championship" or "The Open" just because that's what they call it over there. We have our own "Open" known as the US(!) Open so remember where your employer is located, though admittedly there's no audience here either. I bet he acknowledges knighthood in the States too. It's not prohibited in the Constitution (Article 9, Section 1, paragraph 8), but it's an unwritten rule from back when, you know, we broke away from England.

We shall settle this rules infraction with a duel!

To the satellite feed engineers from ABC...why has the transmission quality been so poor for as long as I remember? I realize the signal is being bounced over the Atlantic, but in today's age of television improvements, the picture quality has always looked one step above cable access. Swings are just a little out of focus and it's hard to find the ball before it hits the ground. There's a reason why NBC and CBS don't show the British Open and stay with stateside events. Of course the year the Ryder cup is played in Kentucky there's no Tiger.

The British Open is the forgotten major. The course looks different, the television picture isn't as clear, and too many courses could be confused with an overplayed municipal course.

Oh yeah, Tiger's not playing this year so it really doesn't count anyway. At least I get to wax lovingly about Tiger's 2009 Wii videogame soon.

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