Originally Published: Jul 14, 2010 10:5 PM CDT
Only two things can get me up at three in the morning: the size of my bladder and Tiger Woods at the Old Course.
Yes, like you, I am disgusted with the off-the-course antics of golf’s indoor gymnast. Being a captain of the Tiger Fan Club does not make me immune from his inexcusable infidelity and its outrageousness. But I admit and just can’t shake the guy. Especially when he’s playing at the Mecca of golf. When ESPN hits the air at three bells tomorrow morn, I’ll hit the treadmill with a cup of java in tow. And watching Tiger do his thing. Or at least one of his “things.”
A DVR addict, I won’t stand for going 21st century on you tomorrow. No DVR, wake-up-at-nine, feed the wife and kiss the dog, fast-forward through the commercials. Nope, I can’t wait to wake up and hear Mike Tirico begin the day by describing the bitter cold conditions including the 25 mile an hour winds that will be blowing sideways into golfers and fans in sweaters, gloves, hats and umbrellas. The chance for rain is only 90 percentthe norm for Scotland this time of year.
No, this is The Open. This is the Old Course. This is real golf. This is something that must be seen livejust ask the guys at ESPN who decided to show the whole darn thing live instead of the heretofore tape delays which always cheapen all events.
As much as I hate to say it, my mood will be affected by how long it takes Tiger Woods to get his Nike pellet into a hole in the groundhalfway around the world. Tiger’s US Open Saturday made my wonder if I was on something when I got home. But if he fires out a 75, stay out of my way. I’ll be grumpier than Keith Olberman at a Tea Party convention.
I hope to see a Tiger win, but don’t expect it. I’m going with Lee Westwood. I liked his chances, but when Willie Wood said he’s taking Westwood, that confirmed my hunch. But I’m leaving myself some wiggle room. My dark horse pick is.it’s Tiger! I win either way.
I’ve played the Old Course at St. Andrews once. Played it in 1982 on a cool, damp day, which compared to tomorrow’s weather, would be sunny and 72. I normally can remember the holes and scores I make on most courses. But I can’t remember much about that round except the huge double greens--where seven of them are shared by two holes each. And I remember looking around trying to take it all in. Trying to imagine what all had transpired at the world’s oldest golf coursea place where the Wikipedia says the earliest “written evidence was a license issued in 1552, which permitted the community to rear rabbits on the links and play at golf, futball, schuteing ... with all other manner of pastimes."
History says the first written record of golf being played at the Old Course dates to 1574, which would make the Old Course the fifth-oldest links golf site in Scotland. Only Wikipedia can tell you that documents from the reign of King James IV (not LeBron) show that he bought golf clubs at St Andrews in 1506, which may indicate that the Old Course is significantly older than the written evidence shows.
Older is what I’ll feel after this thing’s over. Four straight days of 3AM wake-up calls will age us senior citizens. But it’ll be worth it, IF the odds makers’ favorite and my “dark horse” get the ball in the hole faster than the field.