My Open Championship report card
The 2014 Open Championship concluded yesterday at Royal Liverpool with a third Major win for Rory McIlory. He shot a final round 71 and won in the end by two strokes from Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler. McIlroy dominated this championship and became only the seventh wire-to-wire winner in Championship history. In many respects this win and the way in which he won, as well as the players who joined him on the podium, suggests a changing of the guard in world golf is quietly taking place.
McIlroy was made to work hard on the final day because Garcia as well as Rickie Fowler chased him right to the last hole and almost the very last putt. This had been a right royal contest and two of the three contestants were aged 25. Garcia is apparently 34 years old but I'm not convinced…I think he could be much younger, even if it is just young at heart.
Interestingly and politely, neither of McIlroy nor Fowler would hear of this notion of the "changing of the guard" and said that they didn't see Tiger or Phil or Ernie going anywhere. But they did say that they were ready to stand toe to toe with them and compete.
McIlroy spoke with emotion afterwards at the press conference, saying this win had given him back his passion for the game and all he thought about now was golf and winning as many Majors as he could.
The slightly bizarre thing about the McIlory win was that in the weeks leading up the Open, I'd picked four players (all for different reasons) to do well and win at Royal Liverpool - Jordan Spieth, Martin Kaymer and… Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia! As Forrest Gump would say "that is all I have to say about that…!"
The South Africans will be happy with their week here at Royal Liverpool. In particular Charl Schwartzel who finished tied for seventh and George Coetzee who was tied 18. But once again the South Africans would not go away quietly and were intent on staking a claim, and four of the eight players made the cut even though the challenges from Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace would fade on the Sunday.
Personally this the first time I'd been to a Major, never mind an Open Championship, and nothing could have properly prepared me for the scale of a golfing Major. Well over 200,000 people attended the four days of play and were not only treated to the very best golf in the world, but were hosted by Royal Liverpool and the town of Hoylake in a manner more akin to World Cup events… and maybe that's just what it was.
The press and media centre was enormous and state-of-the-art and not only accommodated and fed foreign media from around the world, it had breakaway press conference rooms, editing suites and sound booths, not to mention highly advanced connectivity and communication facilities.
And so it was with more than a measure of regret that I saw McIlroy tap in his par putt on 18. Because with that, this amazing experience had ended. But then again, there is St Andrews next year... Jeremy Harris is the sports anchor at 94.5 Kfm and 567 Cape Talk. He is a keen golfer and plays off a 6 at his home club, Arabella. He is the voice of the Sunshine Tour weekly highlights and monthly magazine programmes on Supersport. You can follow him on Twitter @jeremyharris55
Jeremy Harris is the sports anchor at 94.5 Kfm and 567 Cape Talk. He is a keen golfer and plays off a 6 at his home club, Arabella. He is the voice of the Sunshine Tour weekly highlights and monthly magazine programmes on Supersport. You can follow him on Twitter @jeremyharris55