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The Open /First Day an alternative view

The majority of the previews on the Open focused on Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods who finished eight and seven over respectively.

By going on a family holiday in Thailand and playing few events since winning the Masters, Tiger was seeming not to take his chances seriously.

Rory has won the Canadian Open and Players Championship this year, he has played consistently but never looked like adding to his four Majors these past four years unlike Brooks Koepka who over the same period has won four.

Do sports editors tell their golf journalist that the public want to read about Rory or Tiger at the expense of say, Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetweood, Jon Rahm?

They wont be reading much come Saturday as both Tiger and Rory will be back on their planes by then.

JB Holmes was an unexpected leader. He looks like an elf but can hit for miles and had long been one of the consistent players on the US PGA circuit.

My two fancies – Koepka and Rahm – were well placed at -3 and so is my 70-1 each way tickle Tyrell Hatton. It’s brewing up to an exciting weekend and the Royal Portrush course is playing well.

It saddened me that little coverage was afforded to Max Faulkner who won when in 1951 it was last played at Royal Portrush. For many years he was the only Brit to hold the claret jug but in the early fifties the Americans did not come over as it clashed with their PGA event which was match play.

It was Arnie Palmer who led the way later in the decade. Faulkner was a dashing figure, doing for golf what Denis Compton did for cricket. Faulkner’s son-in-law was might-have-been Brian Barnes.

Generally I’ve been more impressed by the Sky than radio coverage. On the radio that loquacious Ulsterman Colin Murray was pressed into action. At least you can guarantee no silence. The bland Mark Chapman is senior presenter but in my view not half as good as John Inverdale.

On SKY Euan Murray knows his golf and I always enjoy the input of Rich Beam, less so Wayne Riley.

About John Pargiter

John Pargiter’s biggest claim to fame is his first-ever work experience job, as ‘legs’ (or runner) for Henry Longhurst. For many years he worked in insurance at Lloyds. After retiring he has returned to his favourite sport of golf and is a keen recreational sailor and grandparent. More Posts