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It’s time for golf’s final “major” of 2023, The Open Championship, and we’re talking about it with Nick Ciattei of Mid-Atlantic Golf Getaways, brought to you by Blue Ridge Shadows, Rt. 522 north of Front Royal, the resort course right here in our own backyard. Grab that cup of coffee, because the golf will be on early this week and the game’s best gather across the pond!
As I will be on vacation next week, we preview golf’s final major, The Open Championship, a.k.a. The British Open a week early with Nick Ciattei of Mid Atlantic Golf Getaways. This year, The 150th Open will be played on the hallowed Old Course at St. Andrews, and as always, weather will prove to be a factor as the world’s top golfers vie for the Claret Jug. Enjoy The Open, and the podcast!
-Randy (The R-Dog)-
VBL Scoreboard, Oosthuizen Leads British, Nats-Padres Tonight
In the Valley Baseball League last night, Woodstock nipped Front Royal 9-8, while Strasburg blanked Purcellville 6-0. Tonight’s VBL games include Strasburg at Front Royal, New Market at Woodstock, and Winchester at home against Purcellville.
South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen is the first-round leader at the 149th Open Championship. Oosthuizen fired a 6-under 64 at the Royal St. George’s Golf Course, good enough for a 1-shot lead over Americans Jordan Spieth and Brian Harman. Second-tound play began early this morning Eastern time. PGA Champion Phil Mickelson is among those out on the course after struggling to a 10-over 80 yesterday.
The Washington Nationals return to action tonight after the MLB All-Star break. The 42-47 Nats host the San Diego Padres in a weekend series. Air time tonight is 6:35 on Sports Radio 1450.
The Baltimore Orioles are in Kansas City to take on the Royals this weekend. First pitch tonight is set for 8:10.
And, the NASCAR Cup Series will race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sunday at 3.
It’s a special edition of the Sports Dogs Podcast as we join up again with Nick Ciattei of Mid Atlantic Golf Getaways and preview the 149th Open Championship, or the British Open as we call it in the USA. Set your body clocks for the time difference and enjoy the discussion about the very different playing conditions across the pond, some great Open moments, and of course, our rock-solid predictions. FORE!
VBL Resumes, Alonso Wins HR Derby, Johnson Withdraws From Open
The Valley Baseball League got back to action last night after Sunday’s All-Star Game, as Front Royal edged Strasburg 14-13. Purcellville nipped Woodstock 2-1, while New Market at Winchester was postponed.
Tonight in the VBL, games include Winchester at Purcellville and Strasburg at New Market.
MLB is on it’s All-Star Break, and the New York Mets’ Pete Alonso was the winner of last nigh’t Home Run Derby for the second year in a row. Alonso hit a total of 74 homers at Denver’s Coors Field, the longest of them 514 feet, as he defeated the Orioles’ Trey Mancini 23-22 in the final round. The Nationals’ Juan Soto competed, and was able to advance to the third round. Tonight’s Mid-Summer Classic is set for 7:30.
And, Zach Johnson has withdrawn from this week’s British Open after testing positive for the coronavirus. The withdrawal ends a streak of 69 consecutive majors for Johnson, who won the Claret Jug in 2015. The British Open is returning after not being played last year because of the pandemic.
Greetings from The Booth!
Vacation looms, as I get ready for my annual trip to Deep Creek Lake, Md. next week, thanks to the BBILE (Best Brother-In-Law Ever).I’m looking forward to a week in a beautiful lake house for a little R&R&R…Rest, Relaxation, and Recharging! Not to mention a giant hot tub, some adult beverages, and a John Grisham novel.
This week, Major League Baseball takes it’s annual All-Star Break, which brings back great memories for me. As a kid who loved baseball, I would always keep a scoresheet for the Mid-Summer Classic (“that’s 4-to-3 if you’re scoring at home”) and there were always some great All-Star Games back in the day. Who could forget Reggie Jackson’s mammoth blast that hit the light standard in the 1971 All Star game. And how about Pete Rose’s violent collision with Ray Fosse on July 14th, 1970. And, unlike today, players who were invited actually showed up and played.
This week also marks the 149th playing of The Open Championship, golf’s final “major” of the year, at the Royal St. George’s Golf Course in the UK. On this side of the pond it’s called “The British Open,” because we Americans don’t want to give it more importance than our own “US Open.”
The British Open is most often played at seaside “links” courses, and is alien to the style of golf played here in the States. Weather is almost always a factor (you’ll see sweaters being worn by some golfers this week), with wind, rain, and cold one day, followed by sunny and mild (by British standards) the next. In addition, the finicky golf gods can leave terrible lies even on shots in the fairway.
These are just a few of the reasons why at one time the British Open was a tournament that most American golfers didn’t care much about. In addition to the style of golf and the weather, it cost too much to go “across the pond” and play in The Open Championship. With no exemptions and low prize money, many golfers would lose money by playing in the British, even if they qualified.
Then came Arnold Palmer, who in 1960, was one of only 4 Americans to play in The Open Championship at St. Andrews (“the home of golf”), and one of only 2 Yanks to make the cut. Palmer was trying to complete the Big Three that year, already having won The Masters and US Open, something Ben Hogan had done in 1953.
Palmer would lose by a stroke, but gave legitimacy to a tournament that very well could have faded from the “major” ranks. Arnie paved the way for great American moments at The British, like Jack Nicklaus’ 3 victories, John Daly’s unlikely second major win, and 59 year-old Tom Watson almost winning The Open Championship in 2009. And let’s not forget Watson’s 5 British Open Claret jugs.
“Old Toom,” as he is called across the water, and is one of the greatest links players of all time, embraced the Open Championship, and the British people embraced him back. Watson has an incredible love for the birthplace and traditions of the game, and that is not lost on the Brits, Scots, Irish, and Welsh.
But this love affair with Watson and The Open Championship would not have been possible without the great Arnold Palmer, who revived American interest in the British Open in July of 1960.
Until the next visit from the Booth, FORE, and GO HORNETS!