The Fool on the Hill


I have just one question:
If theyre staging The Open Championship at Hoylake, also known as Royal Liverpool, this week..
And if the last time they brought the British Open to this venue was 1967.
And if the winner that year was Argentine strongman Roberto Di Vicenzo, who less than a year later would famously sign an incorrect scorecard that kept him from winning the 1968 Masters.
And if the flummoxed Di Vicenzo responded that day by saying, What a stupid I am..
And if Phil Mickelson, after melting down at the U.S. Open last month and handing the championship to the opportunistic Geoff Ogilvy, declared: I am such an idiot.
And if the Beatles made their bones at Liverpools Cavern Club across the Mersey River from Hoylake during Robertos salad days.
Then my question is this:
Who, exactly, is The Fool on the Hill?
We know Aussie John Senden earned his Ticket to Ride to Hoylake when he outsizzled everybody at the John Deere Classic last week. We know if Norways Henrik Bjornstad was in the field (hes not) and laid back off the tees to avoid Hoylakes dangerous bunkers (David Feherty calls them mine shafts), he probably be doing so with a Norwegian 3-Wood.
Actually, there may be a new stupid discovered Sunday or a new idiot self-proclaimed. But the fool on the hill, regardless of whether or not the eyes in his head see the world going round, will be hard to find because Royal Liverpool is almost dead flat. And, this year, quite firm.
So the key hole will not be No. 9No. 9No. 9 No. 9No. 9.
It will be either the treacherous third hole which used to be the first hole before the R & A reconfigured Hoylake for the pros. Or it will be the par 5 18th which used to be the 16th. The latter, for players long enough and bold enough to take the aggressive line, will leave them as little as an 8-iron second into the final green.
Tiger Woods will be helicoptering to the course daily from a nearby hotel. Which, I guess, makes him a Daytripper. And nobodys sure when The Open will return to the land of the Liverpudlians again. Maybe, for Woods, it will be when hes 64.
A Day in the Life of Tiger Woods is different from yours and mine.
Woods Carries That Weight of expectations that come with being the No. 1 ranked player in the world. World No. 2 Mickelson is just hoping his game comes together, right now, at an event that has allowed just one top 10 finish for him in 13 tries.
There are no Ringos or Georges in the field at Hoylake. But there are four Pauls and four Johns. Paul Casey and John Daly are the best of that lot, I fancy.
If Hooters Tour legend John Paul Hebert were teeing it up here, he would be a Starr for sure.
If Northern Irelands Darren Clarke takes the Claret Jug, the Paperback Writers will be working Eight Days A Week and there wont be a dry eye in the house. Clarkes wife, Heather is fighting bravely against cancer. A Clarke win would be a popular one.
Meanwhile, Back in the USSR, nobody from Russia qualified. But Vijay Singh was heard beseeching his driver to Please Please Me and start finding a few fairways. Otherwise, he knows, come Sunday he will be a real Nowhere Man.
Come Monday..well leave that one to Jimmy Buffett.
All the people in Spain are pulling for Sergio Garcia. But he wont win his first major until he stops putting like Rocky Raccoon. And if Colin Montgomerie snatches defeat from the jaws of another major victory, he will go down in U.K. infamy with sad, lonely and homely Eleanor Rigby.
To Montys critics, I say: Let it Be.
To Monty, I say, all ya gotta do is Act Naturally.
You say you want a revolution. The golf equipment companies have provided that. Its getting better all the time. And theres more to come. Wed all love to see the plans.
Dooby-doo-wah. Oh. Dooby doo-wah.
I think the winner will be a longshot, someone who comes in through the bathroom window, as it were. It will be a player we tried to find with a crystal ball when we should have been looking through a Glass Onion.
Meanwhile, The Taxman will get his share.
The weatherman is predicting Good Day Sunshine and the superintendent is Fixing A Hole. The course is tight which means you cant hit it Here There and Everywhere or you will need a lot of Help.
And For the Benefit of Mr. Kite. Or Mrs. Kite. Or any of the immediate family. Tom is not in the field.
Finally this:
Do You Want to Know a Secret? (Do you promise not to tell?)
The walrus was Craig.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt