Seeing Todd Hamilton’s name on the leader board at the Players today (3-under 69) reminded me of some wonderfully written paragraphs from a long ago British Open. Actually, it was from the 2004 British Open, but the writing is as fresh now as it was then. The words belong to Brian Murphy, voice of the morning drive show on KNBR Radio in San Francisco and formerly the golf writer at the San Francisco Chronicle. After a long dry spell, it’s nice to see Hamilton playing well again.
The full story is here. Below is an excerpt:
Sometimes, late in a final round at an Open Championship in Scotland, the final few holes can seem like barely controlled chaos, with fans cheering in full lung and players chasing history in irreplaceable venues such as Royal Troon, but a sound heard from behind the ropes between the 16th green and 17th tee box Sunday was startling in both its clarity and profundity.
The tournament was at a climax, with a little-known American daring to bid for the claret jug, and doing so by knocking off the world’s best, by daring to stare down the great South African Ernie Els in his own pairing, and render the otherworldly talent of Phil Mickelson, playing ahead of him, ultimately irrelevant.
So the mysterious American, having made birdie on the 16th, walked to the 17th tee amid the shouts and the passion, somehow holding a two-shot lead, when the voice, thick in its Scottish burr, took its place above all other noise.
"Who," the Scot yelled amid the chaos, "is Todd Hamilton?"
Who is Todd Hamilton?
Why, Todd Hamilton is the British Open champion, for starters. (Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)