We had friends round yesterday for a late and lazy lunch. I haven’t drunk as much wine in ages and today I’ve felt pretty jaded to be honest. But first thing this morning I checked out the BBC sport website to find out how things worked out at the Open. I was rather hoping to find that Ross Fisher had won it and had had to miss the presentation ceremony to dash to be at his wife’s side as she was about to have a baby. It would have made for some great headlines – ‘Birth of an Open Champion’ and all that. And if Fisher hadn’t won it then I would have been almost as happy to see fellow Englishman Lee Westwood win his first Open. But if truth be told I was kind of hoping to read that Tom Watson had defied sporting logic to win his 6th Open at the age of 59.
My heart sank to learn that Watson had lost out to fellow American Stewart Cink in a 4 hole play-off. I wouldn’t say he’s an unknown golfer but Cink must surely be the most unpopular winner of the old claret jug in a very long time. The title was almost in Watson’s grasp – the highlights showed just how close he came on the 18th. Down in two on the last green and it would have been Watson’s Open but he just didn’t have those two putts within him. And the golfing gods weren’t going to let him repeat his last hole victory at Turnberry which he achieved an incredible 32 years ago against Jack Nicklaus, in that famous shoot-out. Maybe they figured he’d had enough success already. What a miserable shower.
So Cink went on to absolutely dominate the play-off. Watson’s game had gone and it was a little difficult to watch him struggle to get through those 4 extra holes. It looked like his enormous spirit had been broken. All Cink had to do was play regulation golf. Despite the pressure he wasn’t going to give it away, though I suspect everybody watching was hoping he’d shank one horribly into the sea. He didn’t. The bald-headed git. What kind of a name is Cink anyway?
It was turning into a really painful morning but then Freddie Flintoff only went and took 5 Aussie wickets – his first fifer on his last appearance at Lord’s – to put us 1-0 ahead in the Ashes with 3 to play. Wey hey. Isn’t sport wonderful? And the best news is that Americans are absolutely not going to steal this one from us!