The 2022 Open Championship

Finally “The Open”, like Wimbledon which is called “The Championship”, are the pure essence of Sport, the best that can be imagined.

The British are smart, they concentrate their most important sporting events in the month of July, the only month of the year with a decent climate and they transmit all their love for traditions and history in unique events in the world. This year we return to St. Andrews, from where it all began in 1764, the oldest modern sport in the world celebrates the most insignificant field (golfing speaking) of the whole world circuit. Purists will be horrified, but how, you call St. Andrews unremarkable? Well yes, try to compare it to Pebble Beach, Augusta, the Blue Monster (which they don’t want to be named because it belongs to Trump) and to other Links such as Carnoustie, Murfield and Tumberry (also by Trump) and then you will find the answer.

But all this is surpassed by the history and tradition that one breathes entering this Scottish town, also famous for Prince William’s University, where in the midst of the Champions playing, you meet mothers with prams and old people on a health walk, all in full Scottish style. Here the greats like Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have won, who have triumphed twice on this course. Nicklaus, these days in St. Andrews for the 150th anniversary, said a sentence that perfectly expresses the meaning of a victory in St. Andrews: “In golf, if you want to be remembered, you have to win at least once in St. Andrews”.

However, a tragic event looms over this sentence by Nickalus: the last winner in 2015 was Zach Johnson, future Yankee captain of the Ryder in Rome next year, but above all the most unpleasant person in world golf, his presumption and arrogance are invincible and beating him in September 2023 would be incomparable, so if today he were to break his leg falling down the stairs while going to the 1st tee, I won’t say “poor guy”. Tiger returns to it, after a methodical planning due to his precarious physical conditions and age, but although I have never loved him and even a little hated him in his extraordinary career, I would have liked his good result, but his 78 yesterday compromises all his ambitions.

The other one who will have my support is Rory, another player who, like Tiger, I hated, but that a victory for him at St. Andrews would be the icing on the cake of another extraordinary career. Rory is in pool position thanks to a 66 played in the morning when the field is more playable, let’s see if in the afternoon today, he will keep the good premises. Why my change of course? There is a reason and it is called LIV, the billionaire circuit of the Arabs which does not reward those who win, but gives lots of money to everyone, even the last one. Tiger and Rory rightly said, but why do you train if the money is already guaranteed even if you make 100…

This stance of theirs has changed my opinion on the two great Champions, they are real sportsmen and if they don’t pass the cut and don’t take a pound, that’s right and they deserved it, so a victory by one of the two must be celebrated to the fullest splendor of Sport. Tiger, Rory, Roger, Rafa, Nole … these are the real sportsmen who struggle to win, because sport as well as talent is hard work, an essential mix to get to Glory.

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Author: Michele Pani

After 35 years of hotel management and 47 years of golf, I help companies, entrepreneurs and managers to establish themselves and obtain the pre-set results.


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