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Pardon Me But I Was Wondering Where You Got Your Information

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Just a few thoughts on things overheard while watching the telecast of the British Open:
 
David Duval finally quieted all those critics who called him the best player never to win a major.
 
Critics? What critics? Didnt they call him the BEST player never to win a major?
 
How many professionals are there playing golf today ' perhaps 400 who are candidates for the title? And how many major winners are there ' perhaps 40? Excuse me, but what is so bad about being the best out of those other 360?

What they probably should write to keep fragile ears from mistaking them is, Players who are most likely to break through to a major. But as it is, some pompous sort is always making it out to be some kind of negative label. Isnt it much better than, Worst player never to have won a major?
 
Boy, this Colin Montgomery sure can play links golf. But he should be a master at it ' after all, he was raised on links at Royal Troon in Scotland.
 
Pardon?
 
Colin Montgomerie was raised in Scotland exactly three years of his life. That was from the time of his birth to three years of age, when the family moved to Leeds, England, a considerable distance from the coast where links courses are found. He attended a boarding school in Yorkshire. His father was an executive for a biscuit company.
 
When father James retired, he became the secretary of Royal Troon. But Colin had left the family by then for college in the United States. Just because you were born in Scotland and raised in northern England doesnt mean you are proficient in links golf.
 
What a brave shot that was! He had to go between two bunkers and avoid the heather to get it on the green!
 
The man speaking forgot the meaning of the word brave. I know what he means ' that it was adroitly played and the golfer had to avoid a hazard to get the ball where he wanted it. But please dont use the word brave. That meaning is entirely different ' something akin to taking the shot while afraid of being bludgeoned if it didnt pan out.
 
The guys over here, after all, have a distinct advantage when it comes to links golf. After all, it is what most of them have become accustomed to playing all their lives.
 
How many Americans have won the British Open that past 30 years? Twelve. The Yanks have won it a total of 16 times in those 30. How many British have won? Three.
 
Nick Faldo, born and raised in a decidedly non-links area near London, won three times. Sandy Lyle, who played a little links golf while growing up near Shrewsbury ' not near the coast, incidentally ' won once. Paul Lawrie, who was raised and still lives near Aberdeen, Scotland, is the only man who played links golf with regularity.
 
The British Open the past 30 years has been won by Australians, Spanish, Zimbabweans, and Americans, but just one person who truly knew what links golf was all about. And Lawrie won at Carnoustie, where the waist-high rough beside the extremely narrow fairways was most un-linkslike.
 
The European Tour doesnt play links courses on its schedule ' big money has lured the tournaments to parkland courses like the K Club in Ireland, Slaley Hall, Wentworth and Woburn in England, Celtic Manor in Wales and Loch Lomond in Scotland. Search the roster and you will find nary a links ' not St. Andrews nor Lytham or Sandwich or Troon.
 
Playing a links course has become a once-a-year thing for EVERYONE ' and thats at the British Open. The European Tour does have an advantage in that those players are already accustomed to the sleeping schedule, and the grasses on the greens. But the advantage in playing the links courses? Forget it.
 
These fans are the most knowledgeable of those at any major.
 
This one might be foremost among my pet peeves. British Open fans are among the most reserved, perhaps. Perhaps they look more the part more than any other fans ' any person named Nigel who smokes a curved pipe and wears a funny hat just looks like he must be a golf fan.
 
But how do you get only golf fans when its possible to go up to the gates, buy a ticket and walk right in? Augusta has a waiting list for tickets which has been holding since the 70s. The U.S. Open and the PGA both sell week-long badges which are sold out many weeks prior to the tournament. At the British Open, you can hike on over to the course on a whim and saunter in.
 
How does one ascertain which are the most knowledgeable golf fans? Ive seen some very knowledgeable people at the British Open, but I also have seen many who just wanted to check out all the ruckus. This stuff about which tournament has the most knowledgeable fans is utter nonsense.
 
Just a few thoughts.