SOUTHPORT, England (AP) — Beef is back on the menu at the British Open, and Andrew Johnston can only hope there’s as much sizzle to be found at Royal Birkdale as there was last year when he made an entertaining run on the weekend at Royal Troon.
There are brains here, too, thanks to a last minute win Sunday by Bryson DeChambeau, who defies golf convention with his swing thoughts and has physics formulas stamped on the back of his wedges.
Golf in what seems now to be a permanent post-Tiger era remains alive and somewhat well. That’s especially true on this side of the pond, where huge crowds will turn out this week for the 146th version of what they prefer here to call simply The Open.
The winner on Sunday will be crowned championship golfer of the year. Based on the small sample size of recent major championships, it is likely to be someone you know little about.
The last seven major championships have been won by players who had never won a major in their lives. That could go to eight this week if an up and coming player the likes of John Rahm — who dominated the Irish Open in his last outing — can win this Open.
Or maybe local resident Tommy Fleetwood, who didn’t exactly come in through the front door of the pro shop when he played a few holes here and there growing up.
“It was a course I would have crept on now and again,” Fleetwood said.
The revolving cast of new winners is part of the reason this Open — and golf itself — seems to be struggling for a story line. The course may be the best in England and the field full of great talent, but even the bookies here can’t figure out who should be favored.