Open Championship Wednesday Reads

openlogo.jpgIf you aren't quite sure about Hoylake yet, take Golf Digest's interactive map tour which also appeared in Golf World, where Brett Avery provided the text.

Mark Soltau reports that Tiger may leave his driver out of the bag. His 2-iron has replaced his 5-wood. Oh come on Tiger. Don't you want to blow one 100 yards by Nick?

Speaking of our two lovebirds, Lawrence Donegan covers the Faldo-Woods tension fueled by Tiger's press conference. 

Asked about his relationship, Woods was brief. "We don't talk." Asked if they would be conversing much during their scheduled 36 holes together, he was more expansive but not by much. "I have only played with him two times since I turned pro and there wasn't a lot of talking then either." Asked what would be his response if Faldo tried to start up a conversation, he shrugged. "Surprised."
Mike Aitken included this fun little comment from Geoff Ogilvy in a story on the current U.S. Open champion:
"My weakest attribute is my driving. I don't hit it very straight. But the more you play US Opens, you realise nobody hits fairways because they're so narrow."
When the ASAP transcripts are eventually posted (gotta love the one day delays!), we'll see what else Tiger and Ogilvy had to say Tuesday.

Patrick Kidd writes about the heat and concerns about brush fires. Naturally we would have banned smoking on the course long ago here in the States.

Martin Johnson has great fun at Seve's expense.

Yesterday, armed only with an iron, the white-hatted Spanish golfing bird hooked one into the orchard, and a marshal who had dispensed with his hard hat on account of the heat hastily put it back on again.

When Seve's around, the twitter of birdsong occasionally becomes intermingled with the chirrup of someone saying: "Anyone seen a Calloway One?", and when he gave it up after a cursory search, it was pocketed by a teenage boy who found it under a hedge. Off he went, doubtless to tell his mates not to bother shelling out 30-odd quid for a box of 12 in the pro's shop. Just follow Seve around for an hour or two.

Ballesteros is playing in his first Open since 2001, and really only to give his caddie a feel for links golf. His caddie being his 15-year-old son Baldomero, who plays off a handicap of one, and who, Seve says, is "better than me that age". However, learning the art of links golf from the old man nowadays won't teach him too much other than how to calculate a yardage from the exhibition tent.

And the driver?

The master escapologist didn't even bother with that aspect of his game yesterday. He hooked two drives off the fifth, one into the rough, one into a gorse bush, and after telling his boy to go and pick them up, dropped another one on the fairway.

Even so, it is not terribly uplifting to watch the great man trying to get around a golf course these days. At 49, the loss of club-head speed left him miles behind his partners, and his relationship with the sweet spot has gone from a love affair to a mild flirtation.

Finally, thanks to reader Thane for the heads up on Ron Kroichick's Open blog.