Open Championship Under Way

The 142nd Open Championship (Formerly known as the British Open) got underway yesterday at Muirfield Golf Club in Gullane, Scotland. The Open Championship is usually played on a links course with treacherous conditions that often include blistering winds and rain. Often times because of the links set up, it favors those who can hit the ball a long way. In recent memory that has not been case; last years winner was Ernie Els, who’s hardly known for his driver but more for his short game and wizardry around the green.

With the deep bunkers and tall grass outside of the fairways, this year’s course offers many of the same demands as previous Open Championships.  Muirfield is not one of the major courses that usually host the tournament.  The bigger names like St. Andrews, Carnoustie or Royal Turnberry are considered the iconic legacies for golf in the UK.

While Americans have faired well at the Open Championship, the last few years have seen a change in that trend. Stewart Cink was the last American to win the Claret Jug in 2009, which was held at the aforementioned Turnberry. The Open was dominated by Americans during the ’95 – ’06 period. In that span only two non-Americans won. So far the tournament has been blessed with sunny skies and not a lot of wind, which should allow for scores well under-par – a far cry from the USGA’s version of a national championship.