Another golf major and another first.
This time, Collin Morikawa in capturing the Open played in Sandwich, England at Royal St. George’s, became the first in history to win two majors in his first attempt.
Morikawa made his debut at the 2020 PGA Championship and won that one.
And at the same time, joined Tiger Woods at taking home two majors before the age of 25.
It was a highly contested final round with Jordan Spieth winding up two shots behind the champion.
It was a bitter sweet weekend for the Texan, who had to feel buoyed by regaining his form which has taken some grueling work in getting back.
On the other hand, Spieth bogeyed the final two holes in the third round which damaged his chances, including a failed 2-foot putt on the final hole which never came close to the hole.
The Runner Up
Perhaps the real heartbreaking story belonged to Louis Oosthuizen who once again played the role of the bridesmaid and not the bride.
The South African finished in third place, tied with Jon Rahm, two shots back of Spieth.
Tied for third
He has come close without winning, in three consecutive major championships.
To put it in better perspective, Tiger Woods has seven runner-up finishes in majors, Louis Oosthuizen has six.
He led the field by a shot entering the final round.
Has been steady for the most part, always there, but has been unable to cash in for his second major.
He won the Open title in 2010, but since then, finished runner-up in the following majors:
- 2012 Masters
- 2015 and 2021 U.S. Open
- 2015 Open
- 2017 and 2021 PGA.
Do I believe he chokes, or falters under pressure?
You know how much I reject those terms.
The answer in my view is no.
People may disagree.
They will insist that’s the reason, until he wins another.
I think he will, without question.
Then, those type of criticisms will disappear.
Morikawa is popular with the fans, and well respected by his peers. He is simply a likable young man who appears to be genuinely humble.
All the other top contenders on the tour should be aware of him. He is formidable and should be around to challenge in every championship he enters.
Looking back at the final major of the season, it was refreshing to see a lack of the drama-rama we’ve been experiencing.
No intense personal rivalries, no golfer-caddie break-ups, no temper tantrums, no gnashing of teeth.
Other than a hurried exit by Spieth to practice two-foot putts after the third round, just a few guys (I’ll include Rahm in this group one-time) in their 20’s, dueling for the Claret Jug.
I liked it.
I also liked a story that slipped through the cracks recently.
Ndamukong Suh, the 12-year defensive tackle who finally won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, did something you rarely see players in any pro sport do.
He criticized himself for being a divisive player, negatively affecting the locker room with a bad attitude during his time with the Miami Dolphins in his three years from 2015 through 2017.
He said he learned the value of emotional intelligence after expressing his discontent in Miami, trying to get the organization to make a change in head coaches.
In other words, he was a bad guy to have on a team.
Suh has a lot of company on a lot of teams.
Many change their ways for one simple reason.
They mature. They grow up.
They realize being part of a winning team and winning a championship takes precedence over what’s best for me.
The only difference here, is that Ndamukong Suh publicly admitted how wrong he was.
Good for him.
A post-script on the recent MLB All-Star Game.
What I’m about to say isn’t about my being out of touch because I’ve been around awhile.
I used to adore baseball’s All-Star Game.
It had so much meaning.
Meaning to fans, meaning to the players.
The greatest stars would play the entire game.
Not all of them, but enough of them.
They would make the big hits, hit the big home runs, and make the big plays in the late innings to make the midsummer classic, as it was called, memorable.
Now, most of the biggest stars are gone after a couple of innings at most.
They wore their team’s uniforms, which is how we saw them during the season.
What started the All-Star Game on its downward spiral was the Home Run Derby, held the day before the game.
Now, it is bigger than the game itself.
In fact, these days, that’s what the sport is all about.
USA Olympic head basketball coach Gregg Popovich took issue with a reporter who questioned two setbacks by the American team in preparation for the Tokyo Games about to get underway.
After losing to Nigeria and Australia in the prelims, Popovich strongly insisted that blow-out games were the exception and not the rule, that world teams were intensely competitive.
There were few runaways anymore.
Popovich, who fancies himself as a political expert as well, was intimidating, if not accurate, in his memory of Olympic basketball history.
In 1992, the US won its eight Olympic Games by an average of 44 points. In 1994, by an average of 38 points. Most of the time, the average margin of victory was at least 20 to 32 points a contest.
In fact, Nigeria was an 83-point victim to the Americans in the 2012 London Olympics.
I guess if you’re assertive enough, facts just don’t count.
Finally, things we don’t need.
Speaking about the Olympics, re-designing the American flag.
That’s what the U.S. Olympic Committee is trying to do.
Don’t they understand it’s not about fashion and design?
It’s about a never-changing symbol of the greatest country on earth.
Gunshots outside a major league ballpark sending fans and players running for their safety.
Violence and hate are taking over this great country.
Things have to calm down and cool off.
There now will be two anthems played before NFL games this season.
I thought there was only one “NATIONAL anthem” for us and for everybody else.