2010 British Open: How Open Championship Suspense Restored Golf's Fervor

Will Leivenberg@@will_leivenbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2010

ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND - JULY 14:  Justin Rose of England hits a tee shot during practice for the 139th Open Championship on the Old Course, St Andrews on July 14, 2010 in St Andrews, Scotland.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images

The fusion of the British Open returning to golf's Graceland and the complete inability to predict this year's champion have generated an electrifying anticipation throughout the golf world.


We have all become skeptics.

Will Tiger Woods finally win? If he does capture his 15th major, how long until he beats Jack Nickalus' record of 18 major championships?

Can Phil Mickelson win his first, elusive Open Championship?

How will the schizophrenic weather conditions affect the players?

With the overwhelming success of Europeans this year on the PGA Tour, is a European destined to win at St. Andrews?

Will the prolific history of the Old Course at St. Andrews haunt the leader come Sunday at the Open Championship?

There has never been such an array of doubt, wonder, and fascination on the eve of a major championship.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods remains one of the crucial reasons for this remarkable excitement.

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Returning to St. Andrews means returning home for Tiger. Of Woods' three Open Championship victories, two have come at St. Andrews, one in 2000 and the other in 2005.

For a player of Woods' stature and ceaseless commitment to excellence in the game of golf, competing on the first ever 18-hole track, which is embedded with 600 years of history, must be the ultimate thrill.

Woods' two fourth-place finishes at the Masters and US Open this season only add to his insatiable hunger for victory. St. Andrews may be the course where Tiger's will earns him his biggest win yet.

Phil Mickelson

For Phil Mickelson, winning the British Open would simply be a historic feat.

Not only has he never won the British Open, but to win where golf was born would silence cynics, galvanize fans, and be the purest form of personal success for Lefty. 

But, let's face it: What's really at stake here is if Phil wins, he officially overtakes Tiger's throne.

St. Andrews

The battle between golf's two best players will take place at golf's sanctuary, the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Seems fitting right?

From Sam Snead, to Seve Ballesteros, to Jack Nicklaus, winning at St. Andrews is the pinnacle of golf success.

"A champion's career is never complete without a win at St. Andrews."—Bobby Jones

"It's just one of the great spots in the world."—Arnold Palmer

"When you step on the first tee at St. Andrews, it's a feeling like no other feeling in the world."—Tom Watson

Did You Know?

Did you know what distinguishes the Old Course from golf courses worldwide is the massive double greens?

Seven greens on the golf course are actually shared by two holes each, and only the first, ninth, 17th, and 18th holes have their own putting greens.

What lies ahead is the ultimate battle among the most elite golfers, on the most historically significant golf course in the world.