July 18, 2004

Win an Open Championship with Todd Hamilton!:
Another year, another "Who the heck are you?" champion. Is this a good thing for golf (ratings-wise) or would they have been happier if the Big Easy had won his 2nd Open Championship in 3 years?
BTW, my fpp title references this.

posted by grum@work to golf at 01:39 PM - 4 comments

Great accomplishment for Todd Hamilton, but he has to be one of the least expressive out-of-nowhere major winners in the history of televised golf. That calmness is probably one of the reasons he didn't cave, but if I'm going to root for an old journeyman golfer I never heard of to win the British Open, I want the guy to go crazy at the end. Bad caddie hug. Cold spouse embrace. Terrible speech. He really does win ugly. But I do award some style points to his daughter for blowing the live interview before the playoff by declaring "last hole is stupid."

posted by rcade at 01:49 PM on July 18, 2004

*I* wish Ernie had won, simply for the sake of my fantasy team, but Hamilton played solidly. Ernie didn't putt well from the 18th in regulation through the playoff, and Hamilton handled the pressure from World # 2 down the stretch. Maybe it helped him to play with Els, to see how calm Ernie is, and they fed off each other. No, it's not a good thing for golf. Ernie's nipping at Tiger's heels in the world rankings (through last week) and could have used the boost of winning the Open Championship. What's good for golf is for stars like Phil, Tiger, Ernie, Vijay to win majors. Mickelson is definitely the leader in Player of the Year honors, with his majors record (1, 2, 3) and other wins.

posted by msacheson at 10:20 PM on July 18, 2004

New stars are good for golf too. There's a chance that might happen here. Hamilton's no duffer. He was ranked 56th in the world going into the British Open and had won a PGA tournament this year (along with 11 on the Japanese tour). He has the game and poise to be a top-10 player. Ernie Els said that from his experience playing with Hamilton in past tournaments he knew he'd be a tough golfer to beat.

posted by rcade at 09:43 AM on July 19, 2004

This kinda reminds me of the parity debate in sports - is it better or worse for more teams to actually have a chance to win the big one? Golf - despite its superstars, strikes me as one of the most parity driven sports out there, where literally guys you've never heard of win majors. Ratings would suggest it's bad for the game to continue like this. But by the same token, the NFL (always used as the example to end all examples) is fairly parity driven (or is it?... ) and is the most successful league. Just food for thought.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:31 PM on July 19, 2004

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