I’m off tomorrow morning with my 8 year old lad to watch round 3 of the The Senior Open Championship at Walton Heath. Its a composite course between the old and the new course just as they used in the 1981 Ryder Cup. Really looking forward to seeing how the play compares to the Open Championship last week. Not so much rough but the fairways are heavily lined with heather.
As luck or fate would have it the third round pairings have thrown Peter Senior and Tom Watson together so we may well follow them for a bit. Full list of tee times below:
I’m interested to see a number of the other pro’s for a variety of reasons. Carl Mason as he was the son of the pro from my local club when I was growing up and would often give us the lowdown on fellow pro’s when we were kids! Tony Johnstone who is always cemented in my mind as someone who had great skills, has battled against a MS diagnosis and really understands the game. See his article here on the state of the game from 2006: http://www.tees2greens.com/blogs/golf_international/archive/2006/06/30/the-8-000-yard-golf-course.aspx
Eamon Darcy - a great chance to see this swing in the flesh http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7S8LyE0HpY&NR=1 Mute the Leadbetter commentary
Mark James - a strong reputation as a ball striker
Joe Ozaki - Jumbo’s little brother!
Gary Wolstenholme - beat Tiger in the Walker Cup, stayed amateur until becoming a senior. Legendarily straight but short!
Boonchu Ruangkit - this guy was dominant on the senior last year and I am keen to see him in the flesh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I22ZV35zlM4&feature=related
Mark McNulty - always seemed to be on the leaderboard when I was a kid as was David Frost
And of course the following need little introduction: Bernard Langer, Nick Price, Mark O’Meara, Ian Woosnam, Tom Lehman etc, etc
Anyone I should also take time to look out for in particular?
Arnie - looks a great field and hope you and your lad have a great time. Sure he will pick up some great ideas through mimicry of these guys. If I was going, I would make sure I caught sight of Anders Forsbrand - for some reason, I always regret never seeing play live when he was on the Euro Tour. One golfer whose ballstriking really did stand out and impress me (albeit, it was years ago) was Barry Lane - maybe he still has ‘it’ as a senior! I had never seen a one-iron shot quite like how he hit it.
Should be great. Enjoy, and report back.
Had another lovely day at the seniors Open yesterday. Walton Heath was in terrific shape with the heather in full bloom and a bit of breeze making sure it was plenty enough of a test. Sam (age 8) and I followed Tom Watson and Peter Senior for the first 9 holes and what a privilege it was, two guys at ease with themselves, their game and the gallery. Watson in particular was having a good day, with senior not far behind though he faded on the back 9. A succession of beautiful shots. It was quite simply a masterclass. I left Watson at -3 for the day at the turn him and it really should have been -4 as he missed from 3 feet at the first. After a poor start on Thursday on the Friday he hit 17 greens, with the 18th just off the surface and puttable, for a bogey free 68.
We saw plenty of other good golf with Woosie, Langer et al. An excellent championship with -7 the lead going into the final day and Watson just 3 back.
As Sam was getting tired we spent a little time in the tented village and I had my free 10 minute lesson with a PGA pro. Apparently I am getting too laid off and losing height by by dropping at the start of my downswing. He made my day! I held a modern flying pan for the first time in a year. I am not joking when I say that I actually couldn’t imagine how to swing it (so I didn’t), as the lie angle was so upright it felt like it was pointing at my nose!
Sam enjoyed his day and we stopped off so he could play a few shots on the way home in the late evening. He reached a par 4 (from the junior tees at about 280 yards) in 4 shots and 2 putted for a 6 and more importantly really enjoyed himself.
P.S Zachsdad I watched a bit of Anders, he is still a smooth operator though not perhaps having one of his best days,
Forsbrand- there’s a name I forgot about.
I played with him a bunch of times and he was a real solid striker of the ball. I think he lost form due to injuries and it blew him away mentally, but good to see him back playing again