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Official 2013 British Open at Muirfield Discussion Thread

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http://www.theopen.com/History/OpenVenues/Muirfield.aspx

Opens: 1892 , 1896 , 1901 , 1906 , 1912 , 1929 , 1935 , 1948 , 1959 , 1966 , 1972 , 1980 , 1987 , 1992 , 2002 , 2013
Location: Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland

The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers — as the golf club at Muirfield is properly known — is one of the oldest golf clubs in the world, and the source of the earliest written rules of golf, which date back to 1744. Yet the club has only been based at Muirfield comparatively recently: it was in 1891 that the current course was opened and the club moved from its previous home at the links in nearby Musselburgh. Just a year later, in 1892, Muirfield hosted the first of its fifteen Open Championships, which was won by Harold Hilton, one of only three amateurs to have lifted the Claret Jug.

The course is renowned amongst golfers as being perhaps the fairest test of all the Open venues, with few of the quirky bounces and hidden danger that links courses often contain. Two circuits of nine rotate in opposite directions, the back nine looping inside the front nine, ensuring that the golfer is never faced with the same wind direction on two consecutive holes. As Jack Nicklaus once put it, “What you see is what you get.”

Whether the honesty of the layout has had anything to do with it or not, the fact remains that Muirfield has an astonishing record of identifying the greatest golfers of the age, with a roll of honour which reads like a Who’s Who of golf over the last century, with winners including Els, Faldo, Watson, Nicklaus, Player, Hagen and Vardon.

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Muirfield has hosted the Open Championship fifteen times, and has crowned thirteen champions. Eleven of Muirfield's champions would lift the Claret Jug more than once in their careers, and only Alf Perry in 1935 could not be considered an all-time great. This course has inarguably the greatest roll call of winners of any venue in golf history, and I suspect that its reputation will continue this year. This is as good of a place as any for Tiger Woods to win his first major in five years, and for once, I will predict that he'll do it.

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Steve Stricker sitting this one out to celebrate his wedding anniversary.

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Originally Posted by BostonBrew

Steve Stricker sitting this one out to celebrate his wedding anniversary.

Usually, I criticize people who don't to make a trip overseas, but I don't really blame him in this case. Steve wasn't going to win this tournament; his last realistic chance to get a major is next month at Oak Hill. He should do whatever he feels will best prepare him for the PGA, and if that means skipping the Moline-to-Edinburgh flight, so be it.

(Note: I grew up in western Illinois. I know the Moline airport well: I flew into there just last month. That flight is not part of the airport's regular service.)

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Nothing better than waking up early in the morning to watch the coverage here in California... well, other than playing of course ;)

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It will be very easy for me to decide which group to follow the first two days. Especially since they are one of the few teeing off once I am awake Thursday.

I typically follow Tiger any way...but the rest of his group is of special interest to me for this tournament.

From the prediction thread...

Originally Posted by Lash

Graeme McDowell   -6

Louis Oosthuizen   -8

http://scores.theopen.com/TeeTimes.aspx

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Let's get this thing going! Love the Open Championship primarily because the shotmaking is so creative--there are so many different ways the winner can get it done. I also love Tom Watson, which I guess adds to my fondness of this tourney. A conspicuous absence of d-bags from the gallery doesn't hurt either.
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Some interesting thoughts of Sir Nick, reported by the BBC this morning in a short article:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/golf/23323492

Apparently, McIlroy's troubles stem from a "[lack of] focus," the remedy for which is concentration, in the form of "hit[ting] golf balls all day long, 9am-5pm," because, after all, one only has a "20 year window of opportunity," before "retiring in one's 40s."

Maybe McIlroy would benefit from some Pringle sweaters, too, with a diamond pattern on the front?

In all seriousness, I was a huge fan of Faldo in the 1980s and 1990s, and am looking forward to watching his swansong at Muirfield this week. He seems to have made it perfectly clear that these days he is a broadcaster just out to enjoy himself on a course that holds particular memories for him.

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Let's get this thing going! Love the Open Championship primarily because the shotmaking is so creative--there are so many different ways the winner can get it done. I also love Tom Watson, which I guess adds to my fondness of this tourney. A conspicuous absence of d-bags from the gallery doesn't hurt either.

I still haven't gotten over Watson's loss at Turnberry. Poor Stewart Cink, probably the only Open Champion in history to be despised for his win! .....and I couldn't agree more about the d-bag fans that run amok at so many tournaments.

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I agree with you. I'll get up an hour to an hour and a half early brew some coffee and watch as much as I can before work.
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Originally Posted by David in FL

I still haven't gotten over Watson's loss at Turnberry. Poor Stewart Cink, probably the only Open Champion in history to be despised for his win!

It was so heart-breaking. I don't think I've ever rooted so hard for a golfer than I did that day.

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Winners at Muirfield:

Ernie Els

Nick Faldo (2)

Tom Watson

Lee Trevino

Jack Nicklaus

Gary Player

Henry Cotton

Walter Hagen

Ted Ray

James Braid (2)

Harry Vardon

There were a few other winners, but Muirfield must be a true Championship track.That list leads me to believe it is Tiger or Phil time.

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Originally Posted by phan52

Winners at Muirfield:

Ernie Els

Nick Faldo (2)

Tom Watson

Lee Trevino

Jack Nicklaus

Gary Player

Henry Cotton

Walter Hagen

Ted Ray

James Braid (2)

Harry Vardon

There were a few other winners, but Muirfield must be a true Championship track.That list leads me to believe it is Tiger or Phil time.

I believe everyone on that list save two won multiple the Open multiple times. However, it was the site of a first win for a few, so we could certainly see a good young player win it.

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I expect all of you to be in the chatroom at 1AM PST starting Thursday morning....

OR ELSE!

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I am hoping for wind and weather.  That is what gives this championship special character.  Each Major should provide different challenges.

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Tiger's not a good wind player, so if the winds are up he's got little chance.  If it's calm his chances are good, although I wouldn't pick him as the favorite.  Look for someone like a Graeme DeLaet or Matteo Manassero to win.

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Originally Posted by boogielicious

I am hoping for wind and weather.  That is what gives this championship special character.  Each Major should provide different challenges.

Agreed. Weather can play such a huge part in links golf, and it's just not the same when it's sunny and calm. Plus I like to see the pros have to get creative.

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Originally Posted by phan52

Winners at Muirfield:

Ernie Els

Nick Faldo (2)

Tom Watson

Lee Trevino

Jack Nicklaus

Gary Player

Henry Cotton

Walter Hagen

Ted Ray

James Braid (2)

Harry Vardon

Stannis Baratheon won at Muirfield! Wooo!

Originally Posted by bplewis24

I expect all of you to be in the chatroom at 1AM PST starting Thursday morning....

OR ELSE!

We'll also be doing a live chat with CoverItLive on Sunday. Sunday morning. LIVE. :P

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