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What did I just see

Confined to a king-size bed recovering from kidney stone surgeries (that’s right the word after stone is plural), I watched more of the Open coverage than anyone in history who did not have a pint of anything stronger than ginger ale. On Old Tom Morris’s grave I swear this is true. Never mind, though, because if I was drunk I might have thought I saw a guy named Woosthazing running laps around Tiger Woods and proving that great golf can be played without wearing a red shirt and cussing a blue streak.

If I had been drunk, I might have thought that I was watching a guy play golf like Tiger, smile like Tom Watson and swing like Ben Hogan and do all that at the home of golf. Of course, that can’t happen anymore than Tiger could three-putt 10 times in 54 holes and Phil Mickelson could hit it out of bounds on the 16 the hole with an iron. Or for that matter, someone corrupting all those in charge of the scoreboards from putting up a single player from the United States on Sunday.

Sobering as the absence of red, white and blue was on the yellow leaderboard it came a distant second to the surprise of the winner. Not so much because of his stature in the game, after all Louis Oosthuzin was 54th in the world beginning the week in both the world rankings and the worlds hardest to pronounce names, but because of how he won. By Friday morning he had the lead and for his last 47 holes he looked like a bird dog convinced that the claret jug was a big fat quail. He made everyone else look like they were playing in 40 mph crosswinds and hitting blindly over gorse bushes and a hotel.

With this thunderclap accomplishment it sets the world of golf wondering; What will Louis do next? This victory, in some aspects, reminds me of Trevor Immelman’s victory at the Masters in 2008. Trevor also put on a driving clinic that week, swung like Hogan, won going away and is from South Africa. Two years later we are all waiting for Trevor to play that way again. In fairness to Trevor, injuries have slowed him down but maybe also have the huge expectations that come with winning a major.

The times they are a changing though, because Tiger has lost his game and it’s a lot easier to pronounce Oosthuizen than it is to find it. In Tiger’s absence, five of the last six major winners have been first-time winners and that trend, given all the world wide talent, is likely to continue. So, if it’s not Louis, it might be Luke, or Rory, or Ryo or the easiest name to pronounce in golf, Westwood.

My money is on the latter, and I’m betting it comes at Whisling Straits and I’m hoping that I will have given birth to the boulders that the doctors call stones that have taken up residence in my kidneys so that I can watch pain free and just maybe  have a pint of the good stuff up in Wisconsin.