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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-29-07

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page


The 146th Open Golf Championship - Part 2
Photographs by Patrick Trollope BA (Hons) LBPPA

THIS was the 10th time that The Open has been held on the course and all signs were indicating that this was building up to become one of the most memorable Opens ever. Little did we all know just how historic this Open was to become.

Over 16 July to 23 July 2017, the public descended on Southport to see the 146th British Open Golf Championship taking place at on the sand dune Royal Birkdale, Links Course. The first few days were amazing as the practice rounds took place, under a blue sky and warm weather, along with a very light wind. Sadly, the weather was to change and by Wednesday, as thunder storms stopped play for the rest of the day, later on in the afternoon.

This lead to the course being cleared, but as one of the security said:- "we did not need to really worry about people staying, as we have never seen so many people move so fast." A player shouted out:- "When did the UK start having a monsoon?" Throughout the night rain lashed down as a few more storms came across but, by Thursday, it was less wet. It was still a very grey and damp start to Thursday, which made for a miserable time for some of the players and spectators. By afternoon however, things had changed, the sun came out again, the puddles had quickly dried up and it was hard to think it had rained so heavily not so long ago.

Sadly, this bright end to the day was to be a short lived break, as on Friday the cloud came back and so did the rain. Despite this, the attendance was climbing and inside the grounds, most visitors seemed to be hovering around the start and middle course holes. Probably because the nearby concession stands offered shelter and the food. This meant for the braver viewers, even better views of the golfing action.

At this point we must not forget to credit the amazing local golfer, from Formby Hall, Tommy Fleetwood, who though out put on an amazing show for fans and added to the stiff competition to many of the world's best players. Sadly, it was not to be a win for Tommy, but we can definitely say he delivered and has gained lots more fans after his amazing efforts.

Off the course, throughout the week, the local area has had a very mixed reaction to the event, with many businesses and residents split on just how beneficial it was or wasn't for the area. In Southport Town Centre, Sefton Council put on an intriguing interactive Golf Village, which had a virtual 18th hole and a bunker, driving range and more, plus, a very big sculpture which had been specially fitted onto Southport's Atkinson Arts Centre entrance. Photographs can be seen later on in this report of this. Also, in Liverpool 1, the centre had a large 3D Open logo sculpture within its main walkway.

Despite the odd splatter of rain, the weather was good for the most of Sunday, but at the end, yes the rain tried to spoil the show. Oddly, for the UK it was not the weather that was to lead to the headlines... The last day of the Open golf was more of a 'Carry On Golf' script than anything that a scriptwriter could deliver delivered. If it had been presented by a scriptwriter, it would have been rejected on the grounds of being way too unbelievable.

The conclusion to the 146th Open Championship was to become most interesting finishes ever to any golf Major Championship. With strange weather that did not want to be predictable, to the game being played below. No it was also not the rail strike, leaving the biggest ever attendance of a Open Golf Championship at risk of getting stranded... Anything could happen and it did! Even for non golf fans, this was to become an amazing spectacle to watch.

The last round started with Jordan Spieth having a meltdown that was to escalate into 1 of the most extraordinary wins in the Championships history.

Spieth started off his last day of play looking as if his game was going to implode and 20 minutes after his 1st tee shot, the chance of him holding the Claret Jug was looking very distant. Then can the most unlikely error, which was to give him the break he needed, with one of the most bizarre bogeys ever. The 13th hole was to become his lucky hole. As he teed off, his ball shot away and disappeared off the fairway. He drove it so far right that it hit a fan, who was not even watching that hole. He was fortunately uninjured. All looked like it was lost, Spieth took the option to then drop the ball that was over the other side of a sand dune, within the truck park and the driving range. Not wanting to give up, after 30 minutes of debate, the ball was in play and Spieth took a swing, propelling the golf ball over the massive dune, which was so high and covered with spectators, that there was no chance of seeing the course, let alone the hole. But as it flew over, it somehow came back to the hole, leading him to convert it in to a bogey! Then came a string of birdies including 1 at the 17th Hole. But his 13th Hole will be written into folklore forever. Not only did Jordan Spieth merely fend off Matt Kuchar, but he was to become only the 2nd male to ever to win 3 different majors before his 24th birthday! At the end of it all, he also became the youngest recipient of the Claret Jug since 1979...

It is also worth adding that The 146th Open Championship has set a new record for the biggest attendance of a major in England.

Thanks are due to all the media who attended the event and also to all the volunteers, stewards, staff, Police and security, who have made this event such a success. This has been in our view a fantastic advert for our area, both on a national and on an international level. Sadly, a few media groups did again credit the area as Lancashire and not Merseyside, but again this was quickly rectified, as thousands took to twitter to point this out. Again this shows just how amazing and how proud we are of our Golf Coast heritage.

Final results:-

Pos. Player Score Hole
1 Jordan Spieth -12 18
2 Matt Kuchar -9 18
3 Hao-Tong Li -6 18
4 Rory McIlroy -5 18
4 Rafael Cabrera Bello -5 18

Click on here to see more photos from this event...

These are some of the many photographs we have taken at the event and we would love to know what you thought about the Open Golf. Please send us via emailing your thoughts, both good and bad, to our newsroom today:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com. We would especially welcome any national or international comments...

Book now for The Open Championship at Carnoustie, over 15 July to 22 July 2018 via going onto:- TheOpen.Com.

Click on here to see more photos from this event...

Click on here to see more photos from this event...

Click on here to see more photos from this event...

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Southport Reporter (R) Bourder




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