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Its a Date

Much has been made of THE date. May 12, 1970. Its the day on which Masters champion Mike Weir was born. Its the day on which U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk was born.
Scotsman Andrew Coltart shares the same date of birth. Could he win the 132nd Open Championship? Probably not; he has never finished inside the top 10 in an Open in 11 tries. But aside from THE date, there has been little rhyme or reason to the season.
Theres been Annikas appearance, Tigers knee, Ernies wrist and Vijays mouth. Woods rested, Els reigned. Woods returned, Els feigned. Both have dominated. Both haveslipped.
Davis Love III experienced triumph three times over, and tragedy second time familial.
A left-hander not named Mickelson won a major, while Phil ' now ranked ninth in the world, by the way ' has yet to win a thing.
Theres been an elderly revival and a bad boys redemption. Drivers are a hot topic, while Augustas discrimination has been put on the back burner ' for now.
This year, to predict is to be foolish.
And now those inconsistencies shift to the unpredictable winds that blow off the southeast coast of the United Kingdom. Sandwich, England to be precise.
Similarly to Olympia Fields, familiarity will not run rampant on this Open layout.
For the 13th time, Royal St. Georges will play host. It last did so in 1993, when Greg Norman won his second Open, and final Grand Slam title.
That means many in the field will not introduce themselves to the course until Open week. And even those who have played it before ' like Els, Singh and Love ' will have to rely on a decade-old recollection.
Royal St. Georges is 7,106 yards with a par of 71. It was the first course outside of Scotland to stage an Open Championship. John H. Taylor never broke 80 there in 1894, but still went on to claim his second consecutive Open victory. His 326 total is still the highest in championship history.
The course was a part of the regular rotation until the second half of the 20th century. Bobby Locke won at RSG in 1949; it wasnt used again until American Bill Rogers prevailed in 1981.
The Open made an expedient return four years later, when Sandy Lyle won. That was RSGs penultimate showcase until 2003.
In British Open history, all 131 years of it, there have been seven rounds of 63, and none lower. Two of those were recorded at RSG in 1993 (Nick Faldo, Payne Stewart). Norman also set the 72-hole championship scoring record with his 267 performance in 93.
Defending champion Ernie Els tied for sixth a decade ago, in what was just his second Open appearance. Steve Elkington, who along with Stuart Appleby and Thomas Levet lost to Els in a four-hole playoff in 2002, also competed 10 years prior. He made the cut, tying for 48th.
Last years playoff was the third contested in the last five years. Only two extra sessions have been needed to determine a winner at Royal St. Georges
Harry Vardon defeated Arnaud Massey over 35 holes in 1911. Bobby Locke beat Harry Bradshaw over 36 holes in 1949.
This year's Open will conclude on July 20. The last time it did that was 1997, when Justin Leonard won. Leonard was born June 15, 1972. What does all this mean? Nothing. They're just dates, just like May 20, 1970. It's all random. Just like this season.
Unless, of course, Andrew Coltart wins.
Related Links:
  • Full coverage of the 132nd Open Championship