British Open: Wait, What? They Still Play This When Tiger Woods Isn't There?

BAnalyst INovember 7, 2016

In recent years, we started hearing about the British Open a month before the tournament began.

This year? Well, let's just say that yesterday was the first I had heard about it, and yesterday was when the tournament began.

I am an ESPN addict, I admit it. I don't like ESPN, but where else is there to turn for sports news? Anyway, as I was watching ESPN the past few days, I saw something odd. They showed, for the first time, a preview of the British Open. I was surprised that they didn't cancel the tournament. Tiger Woods isn't there, so why bother play it?

And right when the preview ended, they moved to a different topic and didn't revisit the major event again through the rest of the show. That is pretty sad, considering the fact that they shove every other golf tournament Tiger plays in down your throat.

But this did get me excited. I had just been wondering when the British Open was, and bam, there is my answer.

So, since ESPN won't fully cover the British Open, I suppose I will. (Only for day one, though; I'll be gone this weekend. I know, I'm sorry if I ruined yours with that news.)

The Leader

Rocco Mediate, you are the man. After that U.S. Open performance, I doubted you could do it again. Shame on me. After the first round, you, Robert Allenby, and Graeme McDowell share the lead. You had an up and down day, and battled through tough weather conditions and back pains to secure this first-round lead with McDowell and Allenby, who also both impressed the crowd.

The Surprise

Phil Mickelson, you are not the man. In fact, you are not even a top-100 man. You are a tied-for-123rd man. A plus-9 round, and a plus-6 through the first six holes is not something Phil Mickelson should be doing. You were a "favorite" in a lot of people's minds, and you were a disappointing surprise to a lot of them. You know you are disappointing when you have two men named Graeme ahead of you on the leaderboard. It's ridiculous. I personally never liked you, Phil; I never thought you were all that good, and you keep giving me reasons to dislike you. Phil, get it together.

The Key Storyline Heading Into Friday

Can Mediate and McDowell keep up their surprising starts to this British Open, or will they fold under pressure? Can Mediate once again prove he can play with the big boys? Can McDowell impress the folks in England in just his second PGA event of 2008? We will find out soon enough.