Tuesday, July 13, 2004

The Open

Ben Curtis returns to the British Isles this week to defend his Open title.

A repeat winner is highly unlikely.

But I don't think Curtis will do poorly. He'll make the cut....The Open suits his upbringing.

In 2002, I played Mill Creek Golf Club in Ostrander, where Curtis learned to play. It's public golf at it's finest. Fairways that are somewhat well manicured...yet are long enough to be the first cut of rough on the PGA Tour. Rough that is 2-3 inches high...unless they didn't cut it that week. Greens that aren't fast.

Many of the top US pros have grown up on courses that are very well manicured with lightning fast greens. Mill Creek is not that. It's got a few really good holes...#1...well, OK, just #1 is really good, with a challenging drive that you must fade. But otherwise, you've got to put the ball in the fairway, hope you don't land in a divot and try to put it on one of the small greens.

What did Curtis encounter at the Open? Greens that weren't fast...fairways that bumped you into rough that played like the fairways he saw at home. Small greens that weren't all that fast in comparison to what they normally play on.

This championship was made for his style...he'll do well at the Open. Hopefully prove his showing last year wasn't a fluke. He doesn't even need to win to prove that point...contention on the weekend and maybe a top 20 finish would do that.

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