Perhaps everyone was just a bit worn out by four days of wind and cold, but the Monday filings struck me as a bit uninspired.
Or maybe after a week of good storylines and odd antics Sunday was just a nice, solid finish that warrants simple, respectful coverage. (Padraig Harrington photo to the left is courtesy of golf.com's final round gallery.)
Anyway, here goes...starting with the lede's from key papers:
Doug Ferguson for AP:
Turns out Padraig Harrington's wrist was strong enough to hit all the right shots in the British Open. Better yet, it was strong enough to lift the silver claret jug.
Lawrence Donegan filing for The Guardian:
On a day at Royal Birkdale when the game of golf never seemed tougher, the toughest competitor in the field prevailed to win his second successive Open championship.
James Corrigan in the Independent:
Budge over Tiger Woods, Tom Watson, Bobby Jones, Old Tom Morris and all you other legends on the Open Championship's top table. There is a new champion to join you in that exclusive club who have retained their title. Step forward, Padraig Harrington, the pride of all Ireland.
Mike Aitken writing for The Scotsman:
The first golfer from this side of the Atlantic to successfully defend the Open championship since James Braid last pulled off the feat at Muirfield in 1906, Padraig Harrington was acclaimed by history yesterday as Ireland's greatest ever golfer.
As for Harrington, the wrist was the story. Ryan Herrington talks to Bob Rotella who explains why Padraig's wrist injury was the best thing that happened to him last week. And as Steve Elling writes, Padraig completely agrees.
Jeff Babineau offers this Padraig backstory:
“I spend at least one session a day in the gym, every day, and I don’t enjoy doing that, but I do it because of the golf. I used to be a lot heavier than I am now; I would like to eat all the puddings and the pies, believe me. These are the sacrifices you’ve got to make, but the reason you do it is because you enjoy the end results, and you’re staying focused. It all leads to winning Open trophies.
An American friend who once stayed at Harrington’s spacious home in Dublin found himself wrestling with a six-hour time change, and unable to sleep, got out of bed in the middle of the night to check his emails. It was then he heard the loud, piercing thud of metal hitting something, as if some car accident had occurred nearby. The visitor then heard it again. And again. It was Harrington, who’d awoken with a new swing thought in mind, climbed out of bed, and was hitting balls.
“No, I don’t wake up in the night to hit balls,” Harrington said of his life these days. “But I have often snuck down there at 12 o’clock at night before I’ve gone to bed to hit golf balls. I did this wrist injury after winning a tournament last week. I did it at 10 o’clock at night hitting drivers.”
As for the Shark, Martin Johnson says Greg Norman beat himself.
"So, who do you think will win the Open with Tiger not playing?" It was a question everyone was asking before the tournament began, and if anyone had ventured: "How about a semi-retired 53-year-old, who squeezes in the odd round between business meetings, and has a severe history of choking," they'd have been quietly led away to one of those establishments where they take away your shoelaces and feed you with a plastic spoon.
It so nearly happened, but Greg Norman was undone by the man he has always feared most in the final round of a major championship. Himself. The Great White Shark has a history of turning into a fish finger when the pressure is on, and although old age is supposed to make you forgetful, Norman once again managed to remember how not to win from the front.
Damon Hack shares this Chrissy anecdote:
"Ready for a fun day?" Evert was asked by a reporter as they headed to the first tee.
"I don't know if fun's the word," she replied before disappearing into a gallery of thousands.
Tim Glover considers the epic week of amateur qualifier Chris Wood, silver medal winner and 5th place finisher did not get in the Masters, no matter how many times Tom Watson says it.
The celebrity and the attention will not go to Chris Wood's head. After all, his sister Abi, who is travelling in Europe, sent him a text at the weekend: "Are you at that Open thingy?" she asked. He most certainly was in that Open thing and the West Country was on high alert.
Peter Dixon calls the week "miraculous" and offers some numbers:
This was golf of the attritional variety, four days of it. Those wanting to see huge numbers of birdies and eagles at Royal Birkdale would have gone away disappointed, but they were not in the majority. In all, there were 12 eagles and 823 birdies, which compares with 5,015 pars, 2,310 bogeys and 391 double-bogeys or worse.
John Hopkins flips for this Open:
Unlike recent Sundays at the Masters, Sundays at the Open have been thrilling, drawn-out demonstrations of the virtues of this old game played out in front of the most knowledgeable spectators. This year's was not just thrilling, it was one of the most thrilling. There were so many players involved in the denouement. Throughout a long afternoon, when the wind was gusting up to 40mph, it seemed less like a golf tournament that had been founded deep in the recesses of the 19th century and more like a grand prix around, between, over and under the magnificent dunes of this famous course. At one point, there were 11 competitors within five strokes of the lead; later, there were ten within four. Rarely have so many disparate characters been involved.
John Huggan pens a column that I'll be taking issue with once the Open dust has settled.
Mike O'Malley compiles final round player reactions.
And finally, Clair Middtleton shares a note about Nick Faldo's "jibe" at Monty and shares this says-it-all item on the state of the R&A's priorities...
The chaps at Bentley will get a call from the R&A today when the term "ambush marketing" will be used. The Open has a lucrative deal with Lexus and officials were not best pleased to see a row of Bentleys being prominently displayed at Hillside golf club. "It's not the sort of thing one expects from a brand like that," sniffed an R&A spokesman.