Brilliant finale shows the sport at its best
as well as continuing to make the majors in particular as fascinating as ever for the older generation.
In Spieth, the Open has another great champion, not just in terms of the brilliance he can produce on the course, but also for the way he conducts himself off it. Unlike some sporting superstars – and that includes Woods, I’m afraid – the Texan really seems genuine and please don’t be fooled into thinking it was gamesmanship on his part at the 13th hole in the final round as Spieth most certainly isn’t that type.
That lengthy delay, coupled with Spieth’s subsequent best-ever finish in the event’s history, will long be a talking point as, of course, will Branden Grace’s feat in becoming the first player to card a 62 in a men’s major with his stunning Saturday effort. As the South African was well on his way to that, I tweeted that what was in the offing should be “kept in perspective” due to the conditions being as easy as you will ever find on a links course and kicked up a social media storm in the process.
I have to hold my hands up and admit, inexcusably, that I had forgotten that no-one had beaten 63 in a major. Therefore, I apologise profusely to all those I managed to upset as golfing history unfolded and doff my cap to Grace for going one better than the score achieved in majors by no fewer than 31 players, including ten in the Open Championship alone.
I wonder if Martin Slumbers also regretted something from last week. It was out of character, after all, for the R&A chief executive to be so vociferous as he described the BBC’S coverage of the event as “tired and outdated” as he attempted to heap praise on its new broadcast partner, Sky Sports.
It’s doubtful that anyone would deny that, as an overall package and production, the event has been taken to a new level, but its audience reach in this country has dropped as a result of it no longer being on terrestrial television. Now, the BBC has won the rights to broadcast next month’s USPGA Championship at Quail Hollow after the PGA of America’s negotiations with Sky Sports broke down and it will be fascinating to see how the viewing figures for the two events compare.