He used three drivers during the British Open, going from a 9-degree loft in practice to a 7.5-degree loft in the first two rounds to an 8.5-degree loft on the weekend. The latter, which he used to drive into the Barry Burn on the 72nd hole, is still in his bag.
He had to go to the pro shop to buy golf balls before the playoff because he couldn't find the extra balls he had set aside, although he located them moments before he teed off against Sergio Garcia.
[Hogan] won the next three tournaments on [Riviera] and the third of them was the U.S. Open. It became “Hogan’s Alley,” a part of the most famous partnership in sports history. Ruth-Gehrig, Dempsey-Tunney, even Notre Dame-U.S. had nothing on Hogan-Riviera. Ben knew and loved every blade of grass on it and in later years used to describe them to me in detail. JIM MURRAY
Past champions used to be automatically exempt through age 65. This week, an R&A spokesman confirmed a change; past champions will now be exempt through the age of 60. In the short term, the change really only affects one person: Tom Watson himself.Now this has me a bit confused...
He turned 58 in September, and he'll play in '08 at Royal Birkdale, where he won the '83 Open. He'll play in '09 at Turnberry, where he won the '77 Open. And he'll play his final open in 2010, at the Old Course, on a links he loves even if it never loved him back. He'll be 60 then and one of the most respected players in the history of the Open championship. He'll be done.I guess this means the policy is being grandfathered in?
As usual Watson handles it with class and perspective:
"I'm fine with the decision," Watson said Wednesday night. "I think it's a good thing, good for golf. Make room for the kids."
Seems things are not shaping up very nicely at Carnoustie, where superintendent John Philp has been suspended over a personnel issue and apparently conditions aren't exactly thriving in his absense. Thanks to reader Jim for catching this.