The professional golf scene today is mostly centered on stateside competition, but the game’s historic roots are overseas, and this week marks one of the game’s oldest and most prestigious competitions – the British Open.
The Canadian Press had a great interview with Arnold Palmer, one of the first American players to play on the Old Course at St. Andrews.
“I felt that if you were going to be a champion, you couldn’t be a champion without playing in the Open and hopefully winning the Open,” [Palmer] said. “So that was part of the whole program for what I was doing.”
Palmer won the Masters and U.S. Open in 1960. On his way to St. Andrews for his first British Open, a conversation with sports writer Bob Drum led Palmer to effectively create the modern version of the Grand Slam.
He finished one shot behind Kel Nagle. Palmer won his claret jugs at Royal Birkdale in 1961 and Royal Troon in 1962.
Even so, St. Andrews remains a big part of his life. Palmer was given an honorary degree at the St. Andrews University on Tuesday. The only disappointment was not getting to play in the “Champions Challenge” because of bad weather Wednesday.
The Bleacher Report also put together a nice preview of the field this year. As the article states, with 49 of the top 50 players on the field this week, it’s sure to be an exciting tournament. Will Tiger be able to regain the mental determination that led him to so many victories? Will Justin Rose and his perfect rhythm net another win this year?
If you’re interested in getting to the Open, or just getting to the Old Course some time soon, Wikitravel has a comprehensive guide to getting the most out of your St. Andrews experience.