The Open was one for the ages

Published 7:01 am Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I have watched a lot of golf in my life, but I cannot remember anything like this year’s Open Championship at St. Andrews.

What a roller coaster ride the past five days have been in Scotland.

This tournament, which many consider the best in the world, had golf fans sitting on the edge of their seats since Friday.

From rain and wind delays to a four-hole playoff to decide this year’s championship, The Open has been something to see.

Add to that drama Jordan Speith’s attempt to become the first golfer since Ben Hogen to win the first three legs of the Grand Slam and the only player in the modern era to accomplish the feat.

When we started the final round, for only the second time in The Open’s 144-year history it had to be played on a Monday — a golfer from Ireland, Paul Dunne, was the first amateur to lead the tournament heading to the championship round since Bobby Jones in 1927.

While Dunne came up short, he was just another reason why the Open was so much fun to watch this year.

American Zach Johnson, Aussie Marc Leishman and South African Louis Oosthuizen set off on a four-hole playoff, It was down to a two-horse race after the first hole as Leishman bogeyed while Oosthuizen and Johnson both birdied.

And when Johnson birdied the second playoff hole to take the lead, despite a shakey 17th hole, we finally had a champion.

Congratulations to Johnson, who adds The Open title to his 2007 Masters championship.

Regardless of the outcome, The Open proved to us the game of golf is in good hands. Not only were there a handful of young golfers in the hunt right up to the end, but there were five amateurs that leapt onto the national stage with their performances.

That included Americans Jordan Niebrugge and Oliver Schniederjans. Both finished in the top 12 at the end of the day.

I have watched more golf this year than in the last five years combined.

The first three majors of the year have been outstanding. Dramatic finishes, challenging courses and weather conditions have made for great television.

I expect more of the same when they get to the PGA Championship Aug. 10-16 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.


Scott Novak is sports editor for Leader Publications. He can be reached at