A forecast for sunny, warm weather means Manitobans will be hitting the links this weekend at the many golf courses this province has to offer. And just as certain as they’ll be flocking to the fairways, many will be glued to their TVs, when they’re not golfing, watching one of the most popular and prestigious tournaments in the world.
The British Open commences Thursday, July 19, at one of the World’s iconic golf courses, Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club.
The historic club was founded in March, 1886, and moved to its present site in 1926, which would be the first of many years the Golf Club hosted the Open Championship. The Legendary Bobby Jones hoisted The Silver Claret Jug (The Open Championships memorable trophy) held at Lytham in 1926.
Lytham poses an immediate threat to golfers — a 205 yard par 3 leaving little room for error. One cannot aggressively play Lytham, with over 200 bunkers, narrow fairways, thick grueling rough, and soft slick greens, it requires strategy and finesse throughout.
This year’s champion will be patient, clever, and aggressive when necessary; the leader will approach this golf course much like a chess match.
The Open Championship is ripened with excitement. As usual, the world’s greatest golfers have shown up for the event, including one of the PGA’s most recognized names, Tiger WOODS. Woods is back to his winning ways and is expected to perform well at this year’s Open. Daren CLARKE is looking to reclaim his title at Lytham after taking home the Claret Jug last year at Royal St. George’s Golf Club. Not to be outdone, young professionals Rory MCILROY and Rickie FOWLER, are definite contenders at this year’s Open; both are showing signs of greatness this year on the tour.
Unfortunately, the terrific golf weather that has blessed Manitoba links lovers, is what is desperately needed overseas. Conditions for this year’s British Open are looking ominous for the week.
“The weather has been quite a rollercoaster but we’ve no control over Mother Nature,” sighs Paul Smith, head greenskeeper at Lytham. Competitors may be lucky enough this year to avoid rain, but cooler weather and wind is on the horizon, thereby forcing players to make those tough club/shot decisions.
So, while you’re duffing your way this weekend through the heat here in Sunny Manitoba, remember it could be a lot worse — you could in the middle of a wind swept rain shower, playing one of the toughest courses in the world.
Fans looking to participate and be part of golf history can visit http://www.theopen.com/ for ticket information.