24 July 2023
As The 151st Open Championship draws to a close, here are some of the takeaways from the tournament.
Brian Harman Champion Golfer of the Year – Displayed to the golfing world that whilst length is very important, you don’t have to be the longest to win. Harman’s relentless precision from tee to green combined with the best putting stats you will probably see at a Major kept him in the driver seat. From 10 feet and in, Harman made 58 out of 59 attempts, incredible when we look at make percentages of amateurs.
Drive for Show, Putt for Dough? – We all know the saying but The Open really exemplified how important the flat stick is for your scoring. With Scottie Scheffler being a favourite given his remarkable form over the course of the past year or so.
However, despite being ranked number one in almost every Strokes Gained stat except for his putting, he could not score. A stroke of luck on the 18th from the greenside bunker allowed him to scrape through to the weekend. Scottie was missing putts from close range, and it seemed to poison the rest of his game with wayward shots creeping into his long game. Where Scheffler could not hole anything, Harman was the complete opposite – everything seemed to have a chance!
The dreaded pot bunkers – Round One in particular caused so many issues in the sand that they were raked in a different fashion at the close of play to give players a chance! We saw Tony Finau hit his putter backhanded in a bunker to layup for his next shot – truly remarkable viewing and we’re not sure what that does for his stats?!
Christo Lamprecht – An amateur that flew under the radar despite his massive stature at 6 foot 8 inches shared the overnight lead on day one. The South African was very impressive and although unable to maintain his round one form he would go on to win the Silver Medal for lowest amateur.
Little Eye – At roughly 140 yards, this short Par 3 does not sound like it should cause the pros any issues when compared to the nearly 300-yard Par 3s we have seen elsewhere. However, we witnessed a vast array of scores from a hole-in-one from Travis Smyth and 7 triple bogeys over the course of the Championship.
It would be interesting to see the scoring average for Little Eye compared to other Par 3s.
Dun – This hole proved to us that a round of golf is never over until it’s over with many pros dropping shots on the 18th. A Par 5 with out-of-bounds feet off the fairway on the right and very well-placed bunkers protecting the front of the green.
Here is a list of those who recorded a score of treble bogey or worse on the 18th:
Hard work and steady golf were slammed into reverse for these players all on the last hole, for some, almost jeopardising their participation at the weekend.
Low Fitzpatrick – Whilst the main Championship was taking place there was also a side competition taking place between the Fitzpatrick brothers. With both Alex and Matt making the cut, the race was on to see who would be crowned ‘Low Fitzpatrick.’
The bragging rights for this year with younger brother Alex who finished -2 under par, 4 shots better than Major winner Matt.
The Open Championship, whilst not as exciting a finish as some may have hoped for, had something for everyone and once more showed the world that links golf in the UK is the truest test of golf.
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