Hot this week? The Open, Lytham and Phil. Not? Westwood, Clarke, Duval

Phil Mickelson is seeking his first career British Open title this week.
Warren Little / Getty Images


1. The Open. Weird bounces, grainy greens, tiny bunkers, nasty weather, 110-yard 7-irons, persnickety marshals, bad food, slow Internet, weak water pressure, moldy hotel rooms, four channels on the telly … it's a week unlike any other, and conquering the Open is about much more than just golf. And not just for the sportswriters.

2. Royal Lytham and St. Annes. Ignore the missing apostrophe and homely surroundings and try to focus on what a stellar tactical challenge it presents. With a list of champs that includes Bobby Jones, Peter Thomson, Tony Jacklin, Gary Player, Seve (twice!) and Annika Sorenstam, the course must be doing something right. 

3. Fleet Street. There are two sporting events going on this week: a golf tourney and a scrum to see which tabloid can come up with the most outrageous headlines. Expect the latter to be more entertaining.

4. Phil. He’s never been Player of the Year, won a money title or reached number one in the World Ranking, but who cares? He's now, for the first time, making more money than Tiger. A late-bloomer when it comes to links golf, he’s also a pretty good pick this week.

5. Golf Channel. It made its best hire in, well, forever with the addition of Damon Hack, late of SI and Goodbye and good luck, D.


1. Lee Westwood’s short game. It may not be that bad, but lately he’s done so much defending of his chipping and putting I wonder if he’s had an time to actually work on it.

2. Darren Clarke. It’s nice that he came out of retirement to play the Open.

3. David Duval. Ditto.

4. Woosie. A return to Lytham is a welcome chance to relish his club-tossing hissy fit that highlighted the 15th club imbroglio in 2001. Yeah, I think he went ballistic.

5. Justin Rose. He better be ready to jump in if Sergio and Tiger start swinging their purses at each other.