Not too long ago we would all have been guessing what the great and good have been up to ahead of The Open. Now, thanks to the wonders of social media (and their managers) we can be kept fully up to speed as to how and where preparations are going.
The Goat’s had quite the weekend. On Saturday he was tweeting his thanks to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ‘and crew’ after a Nike promo day.
I know, really weird.
Equally as odd was his Tweet on Friday which read ‘Here in London before The Open. Any nice greens to practice on?’
Overlooking the spelling error (but pointing it out now) it was either a nod to the Nike shindig or the fact that he was at Wimbledon for the women’s singles final.
Come Sunday it was back to business. Think what you like about him but it was less than a year ago since he Tweeted a video of him gingerly hitting a chip.
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 15, 2018
— Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory) July 14, 2018
Just look at him, just look at him. The Boy Wonder (stop calling him that, he’s 29 and married) will always get us excited ahead of The Open.
On Saturday he was doing his thing at Royal County Down with his coach Michael Bannon. Much like Mickelson at Augusta part of the fun is guessing McIlroy’s pre-Open preparations; play it cool, be intense, have 20 straight practice rounds and move into the area for a month or just bowl up on the day and take your chances.
The only time we didn’t all hyper-ventilate about his chances was at Hoylake and he went and won.
This year we’ll all be clinging to his Low Amateur here in 2007, the Hoylake win, the top 5s in the last two years (despite not really contending) and the fact that Carnoustie’s greens are big and flat.
For someone who is still only 29 it seems quite odd to say he’s still ‘stuck’ on four majors.
He would have been expecting to be spending his weekend having another couple of rounds at Gullane but rounds of 70-69 didn’t butter the parsnips so we can only assume he a) headed straight to Carnoustie b) did a bit of shopping in Edinburgh c) found a 24-hour casino or d) did all three.
What most of us will take from his efforts last week was this. Absolute filth..
Phil’s stinger on repeat ? pic.twitter.com/irzHStWeUv
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) July 13, 2018
Here he is look! The World No 1 was on the property on Saturday which might have been his first time given his Open debut came in 2008.
What to make of DJ in the Open? That charge at Sandwich springs to mind, then there was St Andrews in 2015 when he reached double red figures after two days. And then back-to-back 75s.
Ah Dustin, the enigma. And the clear bookies’ favourite at around 12-1.
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 14, 2018
Can I shock you? JT has only played in two Opens.
Last year we were all licking our chops at an opening 67, he then got caught up in some pretty grim Southport weather and grabby rough and he signed for an 80.
His Sunday was spent on the links with his dad and he looks a bit hairier than usual. And look how brown it all is..
— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) July 15, 2018
Sneds (I really must stop referring to these players like they’re my mate) gave a pretty good example of how bouncy Carnoustie is.
He pumped one 427 yards down the 18th and suggested that some players could hit it in Barry Burn.
All we’ve talked about for the past few months is Van de Velde’s 2-iron or Harrington’s chunked long iron, now we’re worried about nutting one too far. This is all going to be very different.
Just hit one 427 on 18 @TheOpen .. Guys would be hitting it in the burn in front of green 450+.. Carnoustie is baked out but greens are pure.. Never seen an Open this firm.. Will be an awesome week if it stays like this.. pic.twitter.com/AUXyPGF4iu
— Brandt Snedeker (@BrandtSnedeker) July 14, 2018
How to summarise this one? Probably best to read both sides and make your own minds up. The heading of Quintin’s blog rather gives it away what’s coming.
To which The Postman delivered this..
Disappointing. Clearly misunderstood my explanation. pic.twitter.com/YcKHMPf2v7
— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) July 15, 2018
The US Ryder Cup team
It’s now 75 days until the Ryder Cup and some of the American hopefuls spent the weekend at Le Golf National with their capitano.
And there really is something for everyone in the ‘dress code – casual’ post-round dinner with Spieth and Bubba keeping it brand loyal, Harman is on a geography field trip and Finau gives it the full-on Burberry. The other one is Kevin Kisner.