Barney's News - on The Open 2016
I think we have all run out of superlatives for last weeks incredible shoot out between Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickleson at the Open Championship. We should spare a thought for Phil, as when he walked off the first green of the last round he was one shot ahead. He then proceeded to have 13 pars , 3 birdies and one eagle in the next 17 holes only to lose by three shots ! They effectively lapped the field, and to be over 10 shots ahead of third place was amazing. Henrik’s numbers for the week are quite eye watering. His 72 hole total of 264 is the lowest in Open and Major history, his last round 63 equalled the lowest round in a Major and he became the first Swede to win a Major, which for that golf mad country is huge.
In 72 holes he had just 39 pars which most pro’s wouldn’t be happy with, however if you hoover up 25 birdies and an eagle, then clearly your week will be a good one. He is an all round good guy and everyone will be pleased he won, and now he has got the idea could well go on to win more.
As always the Open throws up some great stories, and Matthew Southgate’s 12th place earns special mention. It was a year ago to the week that he was operated on for testicular cancer, and it looked like his golf career was over. However he slowly but surely came back to health and after a 4th place in the recent Irish Open qualified for Troon, and to go on and finish under par for the week was terrific and really inspiring for us all.
The man who achieved folk hero status during the week was Andrew ‘ Beef’ Johnston. In answer to the question ‘do you think a star has been born this week?’ one American commentator said ‘ well yes, but it’s more like he has been launched from a cannon!’
The crowds loved his left field look, with the unkempt beard the rotund figure and his infectious enthusiasm. His nickname comes not surprisingly from his love of beef and he must be the first golfer in history to have the names of prime cuts stamped on his wedges. I suppose this gives him food for thought on the way round ( boom boom !).
In finishing up this newsletter there is the small matter of prediction.... Now as a life long Watford supporter and England cricket fan, you can imagine the gloating opportunities that I have had are fairly rare. Although I have been known to giggle when Watford hand out a drubbing to Leeds United! So after a slightly dry run of 28 years I finally predicted a winner of a Major!!! Buoyed up by my success I am now starting to think that perhaps I will predict the winners of Majors for the next 28 years and then again...
Enjoy your golf and the lovely weather
All the best