A Major To Remember – The Open 2016
20th July 2016 Posted by Craig Young
The British Open always seems to deliver an incredible weekend of golf. In the last 3 years we have seen Rory Mcilroy win his first, an incredible 4 hole showdown between Zach Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman, and this year was no different with a golfing masterclass from Phil Mickleson and winner Henrik Stenson. Pushing each other to the limits of their golfing ability they made Royal Troon look like a pitch and putt, while the chasing pack of in-form players disappeared from sight, with 3rd place an incredible 14 shots behind winner Stenson. During play there were many references to the 1977 “dual in the sun” between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, where a similar dynamic occurred, with 2 players pulling so far ahead that they may as well be playing match play. However, this year was different, neither Mickelson or Stenson held back at any point, with both players aiming for every pin, they had no choice but to follow their opponent in fear of falling behind. This resulted in a front 9 that saw an eagle and 8 birdies, whilst on the normally treacherous back nine, Stenson showed a masterclass in putting and emerged victorious with a truly memorable display of links golf, to take home the Claret Jug that he has so badly wanted to win throughout his successful career.
The coverage of this years Open was absolutely incredible. Many people, like myself, may still be sceptical about what seems to be the “privatisation” for coverage of some big sporting events. This year was the first time that coverage of The Open was not publicly available, as Sky Sports had full rights for the live coverage, and they certainly made their mark. With coverage starting at 6.30am, it was the first time in history that the opening shot of The Open had been televised, and from there the coverage continued to impress. With live coverage directly from the driving range, game style coverage tracking drives with a giant arrow and Rory Mcilroy using an iPad to explain the logic behind his drive placement, Sky Sports had clearly pulled golf coverage into the 21st century. But this came at a cost with viewing figures for the first day down 80%, fuelling critics who claim that the growth of the sport may be harmed with this shift away from terrestrial coverage. Personally I only somewhat agree with the critics, this shift may alienate those who are not golf lovers all year round but normally tune in to watch The Open, but for those die hard golf fans who are normally left frustrated by the lack of morning coverage and dated technology, the shift to this privatised coverage of The Open may be a welcome change.
Looking Towards 2017 – Book your golf break!
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