Golf Buzz

July 14, 2016 - 8:48am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tom Watson
USA Today Sports Images
When it comes to the British Open, it's not uncommon to see older players perform well. Why is that? Here are five reasons.

More so than any of the four majors, the Open Championship is your best chance to see an older player perform well or even win.

Look no further than five-time Open Champion Tom Watson, who -- at age 59 -- lost in a playoff to Stewart Cink in 2009 at Turnberry.

You can also look at the 2011-2013 Open Championships, won by Darren Clarke (45 at the time), Ernie Els (44) and Phil Mickelson (44), respectively. Then there was Mark O'Meara who won at age 41 in 1998 at Royal Birkdale.

RELATED: Open Championship leaderboard | Intriguing pairings | Oosty's ace

Oddly, while the Open is most susceptible to an older player performing well, its champion's average age of 31 is the youngest out of the four majors.

The oldest winner of the Open Championship is Old Tom Morris. He was was 46 years and 102 days old when he won in 1867 at Prestwick. His son, Tom Morris, Jr., is the youngest winner of the championship. He was 17 years and 156 days old when he won the very next year (also at Prestwick).

So, why is it, we wondered, that older (not "old") players seem to shine at the Open?

Here are five reasons...

5. Familiarity with the courses. Unlike the younger players in the field, older players have usually had multiple turns at the courses in the Open rota. Given the subtleties of links courses -- and the venues themselves -- this can be a big advantage. Sure, there's a difference between knowing what you want your ball to do and getting your ball what to do what you want it to, but if an older player has both those things figured out like Watson did in 2009, look out.

4. They embrace the conditions. It's not all sunshine and double rainbows at an Open Championship. There's a good chance that over the course of four days, you're going to get caught up in some miserable weather. Shoot, the motto on that side of the pond is, "Nae wind, nae rain, it's nae golf." Older players get that. They're not going to complain about things like "water on the clubface" (like a certain top golfer did at a major in the last couple of years), wind, cold, or whatever else. They're going to suck it up and grind, realizing it's the same for everyone else as it is for them. An Open Championship is a battle of attrition. It is what it is. Deal with it. Get through it. Make the best of it. Never pack it in because anything can happen in links golf.

3. You don't have to be a bomber. That's not to say that guys like Clarke, Els and Mickelson don't hit the ball a long way. They do. But Watson and O'Meara aren't noted bombers. Open Championship courses might not be shorter yardage-wise on the scorecard than stateside major venues, but they play a heck of a lot shorter when you factor in the conditions and the style of game required to succeed -- low, running shots, as opposed to soaring high shots that land like a feather. Because of the equipment older players learned to play the game with, they're arguably more creative than younger generations. It's not bomb and gouge. It's about manufacturing shots and seeing shapes others don't.

2. Slower greens. There's just no way around this. The greens at an Open Championship are slower than the other three majors and that's just a fact. Are they slow? Not by any means. But they are slower. When you can be a little more aggressive with a putt and not have to worry about running it 10 feet past the hole, chances are you're going to shoot lower scores. For the older guys, the slower greens can be a great equalizer in links golf.

1. Older players know when to take their medicine. This could be the biggest reason you see older players perform well at the Open Championship. Deep, gnarly fescue. Gorse bushes. Pot bunkers. An older, wiser player isn't going to attempt a "hero shot" if the moment doesn't call for it. Instead, they're going to take their medicine, get back in play and in position for the next shot. You might think it's as simple as fundamental course management, but it's not. Need we remind you of Jean Van de Velde's 72nd hole at Carnoustie in 1999? 

July 14, 2016 - 7:01am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Louis Oosthuizen
@TheOpen on Twitter
For the second time in three major championships this season, South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen has recorded a hole-in-one. Here's his latest from Thursday on the 14th hole at Royal Troon in the first round of the British Open.

Louis Oosthuizen is making holes in one at majors a "thing."

Back in April in the final round of the Masters, the 2010 British Open Champion did this on the par-3 16th -- a unique, bank-shot ace:



Playing the 178-yard, par-3 14th hole at Royal Troon in the first round of the British Open on Thursday, Oosthuizen did this with a 6-iron for the first ace at Royal Troon since 1997:





Are you kidding me? Two aces in three majors this season?


The ace pulled Oosthuizen back to even par for the day.

July 14, 2016 - 5:31am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Colin Montgomerie
@TheOpen on Twitter
Not all par saves are created equal. With that, we present to you this fantastic 50-foot par putt Colin Montgomerie holed during the first round of the Open Championship at Royal Troon on Thursday.

This week is a home game for Colin Montgomerie.

Monty, a three-time major winner on the 50-and-over circuit, reckons he could throw a ball from his childhood home to Royal Troon. In recognizing Montgomerie's close ties to Troon, the R&A scheduled him to hit the opening tee shot of the 145th Open Championship on Thursday.

Monty wasn't going to let that be the lone highlight of his day (and it wasn't much of a highlight anyway, considering he double bogeyed the hole).

At 2 under through 12 holes, check out this par saver Montgomerie knocked down on the par-4 13th:



Yeah. That works.

July 14, 2016 - 4:21am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Patrick Reed
@TheOpen on Twitter
Patrick Reed holed out for an eagle 2 on the par-4 third hole at Royal Troon in the first round of the Open Championship on Thursday.

Something about golf in Scotland just seems to bring out the best in Patrick Reed.

Reed was the star of Ryder Cup USA in 2014 at Gleneagles with a 3-0-1 record in his debut (a losing effort for the U.S.). On Thursday in the first round of the Open Championship, he made two quick pars on holes 1 and 2 before this beauty at No. 3:

That right there is an eagle 2.

Reed followed that with a birdie at No. 4 to get to 3 under through four holes and right near the top of the leaderboard. 

July 13, 2016 - 9:15am
Posted by:
Matt Craig
matthew.craig's picture
rory mcilroy royal troon, the open
Facebook / SkySports
Rory McIlroy took six shots to escape the bunker at the 8th hole, the famous "postage stamp."

There's two things we know for certain about Royal Troon. First, you do not want to miss the green on the 8th hole. Second, it's pretty difficult to hit the green on the 8th hole.

They call it the "postage stamp" for a reason, and the small green accounts for the signature hole on the course. Surrounding the tiny patch of short grass are a handful of deep and intimidating bunkers.

Rory McIlroy decided to try out one of these bunkers during his practice round on Tuesday, and found out just how difficult they can be.

It took McIlroy six shots to escape the bunker, an adventure captured by Sky Sports on Facebook Live.

The fun starts around the 5:30 mark:


Once again, you do not want to find the bunkers on the 8th hole at Royal Troon. It's a story to follow as The Open starts on Thursday.


July 13, 2016 - 8:39am
Posted by:
Matt Craig
matthew.craig's picture
mercedes-benz golf cart
Twitter / gizmag
Mercedes' new luxury golf cart will show off all of its features on a tour of the world that includes The Open.

What do you want your golf cart to be able to do?

If you answered this question with, "anything," then I think I've found the golf cart for you. Mercedes-Benz teamed up with Scandanavian company Garia to create a luxury golf cart that has all of the features you could think of and more.

The cart's sleek design is to be as low and sporty as possible, and includes LED headlights, a dimpled grille, and a carbon-fiber roof.

Features include a built-in refridgerator, a spoiler on the back that doubles as a golf bag holder, a storage tray for balls, and a touchscreen infotainment system.

The infotainment system is loaded, and to hear explain it sounds more like a space shuttle than a golf cart.

The high-resolution 10.1-in touchscreen is divided into two halves; the upper half is dedicated to displaying information such as speed and remaining range as well as control of functions like drive mode (yep, there's "eco" and "sport' modes), headlights and windshield wipers, while the lower half of the screen is for golf information, such as course layout with cart position and digital scorecard. There are also a few apps, including a weather app for tracking what's going on above.

The Golf Car includes an audio system with Bluetooth connection and frame-mounted speakers for smartphone-based music listening. Mercedes also mentions the possibility of adding a more robust set of smartphone-connected features through the onboard infotainment system.