Of all the Open Championship courses, Troon — in southwest Scotland, hard by the Irish Sea — is the one that most thoroughly and directly hugs a real shoreline, the one with the fewest quirky shots, the one with the most dramatic change of personality between the front nine and the back. The tee box of its most famous hole, the tiny-greened, 123-yard par-3 known as the Postage Stamp, stands on a hillock so exposed to the fierce sea winds that at least one slender golfer has been be blown almost entirely off balance while in mid-swing (believe me, I know).Hillyer also notes "the famous 'slump' of Tiger Woods (Lord, bless us all with "slumps" so sublime!)," echoing something I have said in the near past. It's nice to be in a slump and still be the number one player in the world.
Ah, yes, Tiger. Poor, pitiful Tiger. Tiger whose game, say the critics, has completely run away from him. Tiger who "only" finished 22nd in the Masters and 17th at a brutal U.S. Open. This Tiger is a horribly plagued critter with merely one victory this year. And two thirds. And two fourths. And two sevenths, including two weeks ago at the prestigious Western Open. That's where this beleaguered player, who is so delusional about being "really close" to finding his proper swing mechanics with a driver, merely hit eleven of 14 fairways in windy conditions on the final day. Eleven of 14 fairways in the wind at Troon, combined with Woods's unmatched creativity and putting stroke, and Tiger could eat the whole rest of the field for breakfast and not even burp.So have at it, Flyer. I want to read your thoughts on Troon, on how the players stack up, on which particular scotch you'll be drinking as you follow the boys round the links. Don't make me get my Donald Trump on.