Category: British Open


By now, most people have heard that Tiger Woods will no longer have caddie Steve Williams with him the next time he competes on the golf course. Williams said he knew the news for two weeks but wanted to keep it quiet during the British Open, where he was a caddie with Adam Scott.

Woods thanked Williams. The question is why now? I can’t help but be a little suspicious. After Tiger’s accident, people said that Tiger had to get rid of Steve in order to try and help save his marriage. He didn’t. So why now? Tiger’s won 13 majors and more than 70 PGA Tour wins with Williams. The two were close friends going through his whole scandal together.

Who is going to be a better caddie for Woods? That’s a good question. More importantly, what went into this decision? Something must have happened personally between the two as of late. According to reports, there were signs that their relationship was strained, but it must have taken a big even or revelation for this firing to come now. I don’t know why Tiger didn’t do this right away after his accident. In terms of his golf game…I can’t see this being a good idea. A new swing, trying to come back from injuries, Williams was really his last link to when he was dominating golf. Doesn’t seem to make sense to get rid of that now.

Lukas Eggen

Another major, another Irishman taking home the championship. Darren Clarke won his first major, holding off Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson to win by three strokes. Congratulations to Clarke. It is always a fun sight to see a player win his first major, especially when he’s had as long of a career as Clarke has.

However, after the American players seemed to be making strides, Clarke’s victory had as much to do with Johnson’s and Mickelson’s meltdowns as it did his great play. Not a good sign to see both golfers make huge errors in the back nine, with all the marbles at stake.

Rory McIllroy had a not-so-good tournament. But, we’ll see how he responds after this. One thing is clear, yet again. There is no new Tiger, at least not yet. Golf will need someone to take up that mantle soon though, or I think you’ll see diminishing interest in the sport.

Lukas Eggen

Three rounds down, one round to go. To sum up the third round: Here comes the Americans. Out of the golfers currently tied for 17th or better, there were 12 Americans, including Dustin Johnson and Ricky Fowler, who are in second and third. Also in that group is Phil Mickelson. This has undoubtedly been a great showing for American golf, and much needed as well.

But, as Darren Clarke holds onto a one stroke lead, something occurred to me. This is why the British Open is my least favorite major. Clarke just got lucky with the weather. This isn’t a test of skill as much as it is who can avoid the bad weather and survive. I know weather plays a part of sports, but when it affects the game to the point where golfers fall out of contention simply because their tee time prevents them from taking advantage of better weather (like Rory McIllroy), it seems pointless. This isn’t a test of who is the best golfer that weekend anymore.

There will still be some good story lines on Sunday. Can Clarke hold on? Can an American win? Seeing Tom Watson walk up to the 18th green will be special. Yet, for me, a major should be in a place where golfers can use their skills to win, not just cause their tee time was in better weather.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

If there’s one thing we know now it’s this: It’s anyone’s game.

Every player that made the cut is within seven shots of co-leaders Darren Clarke and Lucas Glover. As with almost every British Open, the real factor will be the weather and who can handle it the best. Also, this may simply come down to who gets luckier with the weather based on tee times. But, it’ll be interesting and fun to watch as the players scramble to the finish.

Clarke, who is Irish, could be the second-straight Irishman to win a major in a row. And, when you factor in Graeme McDowell’s US Open win in 2010, and the Irish could be having one heck of a stretch of golf. Speaking of the Irish, Rory McIlroy had an up and down day, but remains just four shots back. The good news for him is he’s got as good a shot as anyone to win, but he left a lot of birdie chances on the course today.

The US showed up in force with five golfers seventh or higher, including Davis Love III and Dustin Johnson. Phil Mickelson is still in contention at one-under par as well. Perhaps this is the major the US snaps its major-less streak at?

Lukas Eggen

Thomas Bjorn and Tom Lewis sit atop the British Open leaderboard after one round of play. One, a seasoned veteran, the other an amateur. It’s hard to imagine two more unlikely c0-leaders at a major. Yet, thanks to some funky weather, that’s what we have.

The biggest surprise, and the best part of the first round was Lewis. He’s the first amateur to lead a major in a long while and it’s good to see another fresh face. My biggest disappointment was Luke Donald. Donald was one of my two predictions to win the thing. He struggled to a one-over par 71. Not a terrible score, but Donald couldn’t putt to save his life and that doesn’t bode well.

Rory McIlroy also shot a 71. But, after bogeying two of his first three holes, that score doesn’t seem so bad. Yet, he needs to make a move in the second round to remain in contention.

Lukas Eggen

Here is a link to ESPN’s British Open leaderboard, which is updated live throughout all four rounds. You can look at it here.

Unfortunately with the time difference with me living in Oregon at the moment, I won’t be doing any live updates for the first few rounds, but will once the weekend hits. I will also have round-by-round wrap ups as well. If there is enough interest I will also do a live chat on this site for the final round. So if you’re interested comment here or email me at eggen.lukas@gmail.com and let me know.

Lukas Eggen

As golf prepares for the British Open tomorrow, clearly the golf world is caught up with Rory McIlroy. The player who missed a chance to win the Masters only to win the U.S. Open in record-breaking fashion now gets a chance to show his stuff again. This might be his most important major to date. Another good showing will prove he’s for real. A poor showing and maybe the Tiger comparisons are just a little bit premature.

As much as ESPN wants us to believe, does anyone really have faith in Phil Mickelson? He hasn’t seriously competed in a while. He is getting older and, mixed with personal problems he has had to deal with, it’s hard to see him playing consistently enough this week to win, let alone make a serious run at the title. However, another looming question, can an American player pose a big threat this weekend? The answer: I highly doubt it. Foreign-born players clearly have a step up as of right now, and I don’t see that changing anytime in the immediate future.

Though any player could have the tournament of their career at any given major, the likes of Steve Stricker and Matt Kuchar leading America’s chances at the British Open hardly inspire confidence.

The No. 1 player in the world (at least according to golf’s rankings) is Luke Donald. He has a lot to prove since he has yet to win a major. A win at the British Open, especially on his home soil, would go a long ways to validating him as one of golf’s top players. Otherwise, the questions will continue to mount about just how serious a player he can be.

The British Open is ripe with intriguing story lines. As far as a winner goes? It’s hard to bet against Rory McIlroy at this point. But, I expect Luke Donald to be right there and have a chance to finally win his first major. Donald does have a pretty solid short game. And, by all accounts, that could give him a leg up on the field at St. George. Also, don’t underestimate the power of the chance to win his first major in his home country and the fact that he wants to prove he deserves to be No. 1.

Lukas Eggen