Follow the 137th Open Championship all week on GOLF CHANNEL. Click for our TV schedule! Rich Lerner is at Royal Birkdale this week for the 137th Open Championship. Enjoy Rich's insight and perspective from the season's third major:
SOUTHPORT, England ' The first two days were easy compared with what's coming. Saturday, with winds blowing 40 mph, could be like the Daytona 500 without steering wheels. I've been reminded this week that Greg Norman was once the game's alpha male. Then Tiger came along and took the alpha, the beta and the whole damn alphabet.
Chatting with Rocco Mediate about Hunter Mahan's Golf Digest comments in which he said the fun's been sucked out of the Ryder Cup, Roc said, 'If I'm at the Ryder Cup I guarantee we're going to have fun!'
Bumped into Jack Nicklaus, in town for an appearance. He was in Spain Thursday, London and then Birkdale on Friday. 'Where you going next?' I asked. 'I'll be back in Florida for dinner tonight,' he said. I didn't have to ask if he was flying commercial or private.
Camillo Villegas, driven and goal oriented, has improved his putting and press center performances.
Jack, at age 56, opened the '96 British 69-66, one back of Tom Lehman and Paul McGinley before finishing 44th. Snead, at 62, finished third at the '74 PGA, three behind Trevino.
Rocco's now a Ryder Cup must-have: a good vibe, good quote and good game guy. Don't be surprised to see Roc invigorate the Skins Game, show up in Sun City and get an invite from Tiger for The Target World Challenge. If anyone's earned the right to fatten up during the silly season, it's Roc.
I asked Jack what he thought of Kenny Perry skipping the British: 'Why should he turn his life upside down? More power to him.'
How many times have you pondered the question, 'Will David Duval ever win again?' What do you think now?
Email your thoughts to Rich Lerner
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