Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports columns

July 24, 2012

Bishop: Winning an Open is anything but easy

Scott sees shot at his first major title slip away

(Continued)

Eight times in his professional career, Scott has led after 54 holes. On six occasions, he won the tournament. Sunday’s rejection at Royal Lytham will probably haunt Scott more than the one he faced when his then-girlfriend Kate Hudson left him for Alex Rodriguez.

The loss had to be just as bitter for Scott’s caddy, Steve Williams. It was Williams who packed the Tiger’s bag when he was winning most of his majors. A year ago after Scott won a WGC event Williams labeled it “my greatest win ever”— a defined slam directed at his old boss.

If Scott had any advantage on the last four holes, it should have been from the wisdom and experience of Williams. It would seem logical that Williams could have jockeyed his player through those final holes with some resolve and guile, having been in that position many times before with Tiger.

I guess it shows that caddies are way overrated and ultimately it is the guy holding the club that will decide the outcome. Never more true than on Sunday at The Open.

Royal Lytham once again wrote a unique chapter in Open history and proved why many in the U.K. think it’s the greatest test in the rota. Consider this. Snedeker set the 36-hole scoring record with a score of 10-under par. Nicholas Colsaerts of Belgium became the first player in history to shoot two 65s in the same Open. This was the 141st Open and those are historical achievements, and still, neither player won.

As I reported last week, Lytham’s illustrious past winners include David Duval, Tom Lehman, Seve Ballesteros (two), Gary Player, Tony Jacklin, Bob Charles, Peter Thomson, Bobby Locke and Bobby Jones. Els, winning his second Open at Lytham, fits its history.

Over the years, the villages of Lytham and St. Annes have suffered through tough economic times. Mills have shut down and the only constant has been the Irish Sea and its ancient shoreline. It is a blighted northwest coast of England and the area has truly been shaped by time. Royal Lytham has been aptly described as a grinder’s course.

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