Golf fans rejoice! The final major of a tumultuous year for golf has arrived. While the PGA-LIV rivalry turned merger has dominated headlines this year, the golf world has done a good job at setting that aside during the majors. However, there is one controversy that remains. What is this tournament called? Is it called The Open or The British Open?
The Open, The Open Championship, or The British Open?
If you keep up with coverage online, chat with friends, or watch the actual broadcast, you will hear the fourth major called multiple different things. Not all are wrong, but some are more correct. As the oldest major championship and the longest-running golf tournament in the world, it should come as no surprise that there is a storied history involved with the battle for the Claret Jug.
For starters, the official name is “The Open”. From now on we will refer to it as such, for simplicity’s sake. First played in 1860, The Open was the first prestigious golf tournament to allow for open qualifying, meaning that anyone can work their way in through merit alone via qualifying matches. As the first, it had no need for a geographical touchpoint, like the U.S. Open or Australian Open might. The Open was the first tournament “open” to the public, and needed no preface.
As American golf grew, the PGA Tour became the world’s dominant golf tour. Many American golf fans began to refer to the tournament as “The British Open” in order to distinguish it from the newer U.S. Open. While not false; The R&A will push back if they catch wind of folks referring to the event as The British Open.
The R&A itself has even modified the name a touch over the years. “The Open Championship” was the officially recognized name, until recently when “The Open” became more commonly used in broadcasting and marketing.
Whew. Long story short, if you say “The British Open” you aren’t technically wrong. Everyone will know what you mean. However, if you work in any official capacity for the event, or you are speaking to a British friend, you are better off using the technically correct term, “The Open”.
Now that we have all that covered, and can refer to it as whatever we want, here is who our team is rooting for this week to hoist the Claret Jug.
With this year’s Open being hosted at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, bet on hometown hero Tommy Fleetwood. The world number 21 is in prime shape heading into the week. You can’t help but imagine that he feels a sense of home course advantage.
Fresh off a Scottish Open win last week. Rory is looking very good. Will the Irishman claim his first major since 2014? Rory has been in contention many times since the 2014 PGA but has yet to finish on top again. That 2014 win came off of a win the previous week, so all signs point in favor of Rory.
If there was ever a near-automatic lock for a top-ten finish, it is Scottie Scheffler this week. The world number one finished in third last week at the Scottish Open and has been right there near the top of the leaderboard at every tournament this season. With record-breaking ball striking, Scheffler has all the tools needed to win overseas this week, and it would be no surprise to watch him board the jet home with the Claret Jug in tow.
Will you be waking up early this week to catch every minute of The Open/The British Open/The Open Championship? Let us know on our Twitter page, and don’t forget to stay tuned to pokatok.com for more updates.