Whether you call it “The British Open”, “The Open Championship”, or simply “The Open”, history would support the claim that this week’s event might just be the most challenging of all of the majors. It is the one major where the weather is always a factor, and the weather is the most disruptive and equalizing “hazard” of them all.
Given ideal conditions that are more typical than not at the U.S. Open and PGA Championship, today’s tour players can attack with all their strength and prodigious length. They can roll putts across pool-table greens and never worry about bad bounces or other outside influences.
But this week, they don’t know what they will face. Temperatures in the 50s or lower . . . rain, often blowing sideways . . . and that (almost) ever-present wind, sometimes at near gale force. Ask any tour professional what presents golf’s greatest challenge and they will all say “the wind”. No one can ever predict what it will do to a shot. Downwind or straight into it, you just do not know if the wind will knock the ball down or hold it up. Crosswinds can be maddening as well.
So, in my book, this week presents the best golf watching of the year. The worlds’ best players will be challenged like no other week. And in the end, it might be more the guy who handles adversity the best, rather than simply the guy who hits the best shots.
Let’s watch and see what happens.