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British Open Preview: Tiger Woods and LeBron James Back!

GOLF-GBR-OPEN-PRACTICE

The Open Championship – a.k.a. “The British Open” or simply, “The Open” – tees off at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake in England sometime today or tomorrow depending on where you live. Since it is a Major, our resident golf nut, and longtime commenter, @Spencer096 is here to talk about Tiger’s return, Sergio’s chances, the importance of practice and, of course, LeBron!

spencer096: Yo.

CRM: Hey! Want to talk about Bar Resc-

spencer: Did you hear LeBron came back?

lebron-king-of-kingsCRM: WHAT?!?!?!

spencer: Yea man. It’s pretty cool.

CRM: I HAD NO IDEA!

spencer: Seriously? Dude, you write for a sports blog…

CRM: Oh, was he in the World Cup?

spencer: No!

CRM: Then I missed it!

spencer: /smh

CRM: Whatever, man. You realize we don’t ask you here for your thoughts on LeBron, right?

spencer: Frankly, I have no idea why you ask me here at all.

CRM: Um. I asked you here to preview the British Open that’s going on right now. Like, right now. Depending on when this posts. Tonight? Tomorrow? Yesterday? Anyway, Le- Golf! British Open! Tell us about it, please.

spencer: Riiiiiigggggghhhhhtttt…. Let me guess. You want to know about Tiger?

CRM: No.

spencer: Seriously?

CRM: Yup.

spencer: So I don’t need to pretend Tiger has a shot?

CRM: … yes?

spencer: Ok, so where should I start?

GOLF-GBR-OPEN-PRACTICECRM: Did you hear Tiger Woods is coming back?

spencer: Dammit.

CRM: Seriously. He’s back. Embrace the pageviews.

spencer: Thank LeBron!

CRM: I know, right? There’s only so much you can wring out of Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy.

spencer: But they’re LONG, ACCURATE BALLSTRIKERS.

CRM: So you’re sticking with that recipe again, huh?

spencer: Honestly? Well…yea.

CRM: So why this time? Last time the Open was here, Tiger only used the driver once en route to winning. Has the course really changed that much since 2006?

spencer: Well, it’s a links course, which means the course could’ve changed drastically over the course of a single day, let alone eight years…but they’ve also made some other changes that will make it a little less of a birdie binge like it was back then. For one, they’re not facing a drought like they were in 2006, meaning they’re not going to be playing golf on a parking lot. They also grew out the fescue lining the fairways and there are always the dangerous pot bunkers…

CRM: Your favorite kind of bunkers, AMIRITE?!?

spencer: /blank stare

CRM: C’mon…I really put that on a tee, AMIRITE?!?

spencer: /tries to restrain smile from creeping onto face

CRM: Geez…rough crowd, AMIRITE?!?!

spencer: /high fives CRM

CRM: So the course is…what, then? Favoring everyone?

spencer: It’s golf, so the farther and more accurate you can hit it, the better your chances, but I don’t think it’s as cut and dry like it’d be at the US Open or a particularly tough PGA. Hell, even in recent years in Scotland, there was more of a premium placed on raw ballstriking than there will be here.

CRM: Why is that? Just the way the course is designed? The famous wind or is some calm weather expected?

spencer: Pretty much, yea. The course is fair, meaning good shots will be rewarded, regardless of trajectory. You won’t have those weird swales bumping shots all over the place that aren’t quite long enough to roll up to the green. There aren’t those ridiculously long par 5’s that only the true bombers can reach in two shots, meaning shorter hitters will have more opportunities for eagles and birdies, even if the hole is playing into the wind.

CRM: So does this help Tiger’s chances or not?

spencer: Well, I think it helps. I think the time off helped too. Now, I don’t give him a snowball’s chance in hell of winning this weekend, but, if he returns to his 2013 form with his irons and putter, there’s really no reason he can’t make some birdies and get around the place. It’s not like he’ll be in the trees all week thanks to a wonky driver or have to sacrifice being aggressive on approach shots because he had to hang back off the tee.

CRM: That sounds awfully bullish considering you just said he doesn’t have a chance.

spencer: Dude hasn’t played in like, forever, man.

CRM: So?

spencer: When was the last time you played.

CRM: Like, a week ago.

spencer: How’d that work out for you?

CRM: p good imho

[midsouthernupstatenymatt attempts to enter chat] [DENIED by CRM]

CRM: I mean, I only lost like 2 balls. And one of them went on a driving range so that doesn’t count.

[midsouthernupstatenymatt attempts to enter chat] [DENIED by CRM]

CRM: So, anyway… Playing regularly matters?

spencer: Sure.

CRM: That’s what Shamburger is complaining about?

spencer: Probably.

CRM: Go on.

spencer: Really? You need more details? Tiger hasn’t played! Hasn’t been healthy enough to even practice. He’s going to be russsss-ty.

CRM: He’s totally going to win.

spencer: I’ll bet you a Stufz Burger Press that he doesn’t.

CRM: Deal! So, who else? Kaymer?

spencer: Dude, EEEEFFFFFF Martin Kaymer.

143rd Open Championship - Previews

CRM: What!? Is he your new Rory? The guy you completely, irrationally hate?

spencer: Oh, my hate is quite rational. He took one of my two favorite sporting events of the year and turned it into something so unbelievably boring, I didn’t even bother turning on the TV Sunday.

CRM: Bullshit.

spencer: Swear to LeBron. I cannot stand watching robots do things.

CRM: You sound like Cardillo.

spencer: Take it back!

CRM: You take it back.

spencer: OK. I mean, I’m not hoping he falls down a flight of stairs or anything, but my life was pretty damn spectacular before Kaymer decided that he was a world-class golfer again after about two and a half years off, ruining a weekend of mine and forcing me to actually play golf.

CRM: You love golf tho.

spencer: Yea, but I suck these days.

CRM: Hold up a second…we’ve been talking for quite awhile now and we’ve talked about two golfers, one of which was basically you just shitting on him for not having much of a personality.

spencer: Pretty good reason, if you ask me.

CRM: Don’t you mean “imho?”

spencer: Yeah. Whatever.

CRM: Nevertheless…who else do you like this week? Phil?

spencer: Beats the hell out of me. Lets just say no, for fun.

CRM: Adam Scott or Rory?

143rd Open Championship - Previews

spencer: I’d probably have them as my favorites. I think, of the two, I like Scott more because he’s less of a [REDACTED], but there’s something about Rory I really, really like this week.

CRM: What’s that?

spencer: He seems like a different dude since breaking it off with that [REDACTED] and I think that gave him a little bit of that murderous sociopath personality that you need to dominate. Sure, he completely fell apart on the back 9 one of the days of the Scotish Open last week, killing his week, but…and this is incredibly subjective…show signs of having testicles. He looks like a man instead of a child. I’m legitimately worried that we’re about to enter a multi-year phase where Rory starts going HAM on the field, not like Tiger did, but like Jack Nicklaus did back in the day. Just ripping people’s hearts out with pure, untouchable talent. He’s absolutely that good.

CRM: Absolutely?

spencer: ABSOLUTELY! Is he there yet? No, but I’ve seen enough in snippets to be genuinely worried that a golfer that I absolutely loathe is about to go on an unreal tear and these types of events are the ones where stars on the verge of going supernova explode.

CRM: Hmm…I don’t know if I can get on that train with you.

spencer: No doubt, and I don’t expect you to. His performance has been pretty sketchy the past 18 months and it’d be awfully hard to take a guy like that at the British Open, but we’re talking about a 7,300 yard course that may see some rain on the weekend, making it even longer. If that doesn’t sound like a recipe for a Rory romp, I’m not sure what does.

143rd Open Championship - PreviewsCRM: Who else comes to mind?

spencer: Rickie Fowler’s a guy I think can have success here. In fact, if you were asking me for an archetype of the player who’s going to succeed here, it’d be a streaky putter with creative ballstriking skills that can hit the ball an above-average way. That’s why I’m not taking someone like Justin Rose or some of the young guns…only having one shot is not going to get it done here.

CRM: What about Bubba?

spencer: Na. Not feeling it.

CRM: DJ?

spencer: I could see it. Lets put him in the tier below Adam Scott and Rory.

CRM: So set up the tiers…you got Adam Scott and Rory at the top. Who’s joining Fowler and DJ in the next tier.

spencer: Henrik Stenson would probably be the first guy I’d put in there. He plays well in Europe and even though his 2014 isn’t as sterling as his 2013 was, he’s still the guy I’d not be shocked at all to see win.

CRM: Sergio?

spencer: Man, I think it’s time to give up that dream.

CRM: Seriously?

spencer: HELL NAW, I’m picking him to win again.

143rd Open Championship - PreviewsCRM: No you’re not.

spencer: You’re right…I couldn’t care less who wins. LEBRON’S BACK! YEEEEHAW!!!

CRM: Ok, so who wins?

spencer: /runs around with sparklers

CRM: Spence?

spencer: /wildly shoots pistols into air

CRM: Spencer.

spencer: /shoots fireworks off indoors

CRM: SPENCER.

spencer: /lights couch on fire

CRM: Thanks again…

spencer: SERRRRGGGGIIIOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOOOOO!!!!

CRM: From all of us at The Big Lead, we’d like to apologize for wasting your time. Hopefully, he’s calmed down by the time the PGA rolls around. Enjoy the weekend.

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