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What the Heck is Going on at the British Open?

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  • Posted by: Matt Dollinger
  • July 17, 2009, 5:16 PM


Except for betting my life, I would have wagered anything that Tiger Woods would make the cut at this week’s British Open.

Then again, I’m pretty sure I would have done the same thing if you were to tell me 59-year-old Tom Watson would be the tournament’s co-leader (-5) after 36 holes.

This means one of two things: either I know very little (quite possible), or the 2009 British Open has some of the most shocking storylines in major history.

In case you missed it, Woods shot a disappointing 71 on Thursday, only to follow it with a hideous 74, including a five-hole stretched he played +7, to miss the cut by a stroke. Watson, a five-time British Open champion but long past his prime, opened with a blistering 65 followed by a rock-solid 70 that featured one long drained putt after another.

So which feat is more unbelievable?

That’s a tough question. Woods missing a cut in a major for only the second time in his career (he’s played in 48) is mind-boggling. He reportedly had been playing well in practice rounds and had won two of the last three Open Championships he’d played in.

But Watson’s performance came out of nowhere, considering he hasn’t won a major since 1983. Leading up to the tournament at Turnberry, people were talking about his victory over Jack Nicklaus the last time the major was held there… which was in 1977! If Watson win’s this week, he’ll be the oldest player to win a major by 11 years!

Despite Tiger’s supremacy, I have to say I was more shocked by Watson’s play. He boomed 300-yard drives down the middle and putted like the hole was as big as John Daly.

Watson summed it up best on Thursday: “Not bad for an almost 60-year-old.”

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