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The Open: What a Sunday and What a Week at Carnoustie

Alex Evans gives us his round-up of The Open

Alex Evans

Well, was that any good! That, ladies and gentleman is how a major championship should be played. Hats off to the R&A for setting Carnoustie up so well. I thought it played really fairly all week and it made sure that the best person out there can swig limoncello out of the Claret Jug, or maybe Peroni or possibly even an Aperol Spritz although that would be a lot of effort. Right I’ve gone off topic here, where are we. Oh yes, The Open, it was good.

All day it was so difficult to pick who was going to come out on top until Molinari made birdie at the last. It was quite easy to pick then. I was really surprised by Jordan Spieth, it just didn’t happen for him when he needed it to. He didn’t hit it particularly well but he hung in or around the lead until he missed a couple of putts on the back nine and once he knew he was out of it, you could tell he was already on the plane home, in a private jet I might add. Jordan hasn’t been on particularly great form and that showed in the final round. There will definitely be other days for Jordan.

For a period, it looked like it was happening, it looked like the moment, but then double bogey followed by a bogey brought me back to reality. I do know one thing for sure, Tiger Woods is back and love him or hate him, golf is better when he is there. This was close for Tiger, one bad decision was all it took to put Tiger out of it, but he will learn from that. You have to remember, TW is still on his way back, he’s only played a handful of events so I will still be persevering with placing my bet on him to win!

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It’s amazing the difference one putt can make. The margins are so fine. Justin Rose had to birdie the 18th on Friday just to make the cut, he did that and then he very nearly won it finishing tied 2nd, some achievement that! This is all good news (if you’re European) going into the Ryder Cup this year. These big players have to be on form and these sorts of performances will only increase confidence and momentum on the run up to The Ryder Cup. Before that we still have one more major to play too!

Just a note on the Ryder cup, at one stage, the Europeans were not looking good. The leader board was full of stars and stripes and it was looking like we might be in for a pounding. With Americans holding both The Masters and The US Open, the last thing we needed was another one claiming The Open, but Franky made sure that didn’t happen. Rory’s eagle put him right in the mix too and fair play to him, that is what we like to see. The top five was made up of three Europeans and two Americans, I will take that!

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Molinari was so impressive. Throughout his career, he has been one of the best ball strikers out there but always suffered a little with the flat iron. For those of you that aren’t ‘golf cool’ that means the putter. Sorry, that was poor. If you say you are ‘golf cool’ then you most definitely are not cool! He was in contention in The Open, he played a bogey free last round, and he birdied one of the most difficult finishing holes in golf. That is the definition of clutch! Oh and just to add, he played with the greatest player of the modern era (I think ever but I don’t want to start that). Tiger put him under pressure by taking the lead but he just kept playing his game, so patiently. I’d be trying to ‘accidently’ two-foot Tiger when he started making those birdies on the front nine. “No Tiger, stop it!” Absolutely thoroughly deserved.

A word on Xander Shauffele too who really pushed right until the end. He is some player and I wouldn’t be surprised if he picks up a major in the next year or so. Class name too. That is surely enough reason to win one!

So, what’s next? Well we have the USPGA in just a few weeks and then the Ryder Cup and a whole lot in between. If those events are half as entertaining as this year’s Open Championship then I could be putting some weight on over the next couple of months and I might need a new couch. I’m looking forward to it. It’s been a pleasure!

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