Larry Canning: My British Open Journal 2021, Square crumpets and all

Larry CanningLarry Canning survives a bout of square crumpets to take an enthralled look at the 149th Open Championship at Royal St Georges.


Wednesday –  Brooks hates Bryson,  I hate Patrick Reed and everyone hates the course. I’ve never seen so many players struggling to find the appropriate words to describe Royal St Georges without  the R&A belting them with a fine. In one interview, even the ever so eloquent Keopka started down the path to violation-town but produced one of his finest recovery shots by quickly naming St Andrews as his favourite course.

Jon Rahm is unbackable to win but I think he might be about to run out of steam. I pick Brooks Keopka to win, leading Aussie will be Leishman and Bryson DeChambeau to miss 36 fairways and the cut.

Collin Morikawa: “Sandra becomes quite nasty as she points out that if Morikawa can change his irons to ones with a flatter sole, I can eat square crumpets!”

Thursday – The first tee shot opens The Open with a continuation of 48 year old Richard Bland’s wonderful journey. Word is Tom Hanks will be playing Richard in the soon to be made movie.

Conditions are near perfect and scores are low. Loui “again the guy to beat after an opening 64. Problem for Loui is he will “again” probably get beaten! Don’t get me wrong I love the guy but when in contention, I’ve seen clinically depressed librarians with more passion.

Gotta luv Jordan Spieth’s rebirth after he shoots 65. Leishman’s selfishly fires 75 and destroys what’s left of my credibility.

Nick Faldo is off to a red hot start talking about himself and shit! I miss Peter Allis. 

Friday – Weather is even better! We all hear about the previous days interview with Bryson DeChambeau. After shooting 71 Bryce felt the need to blame his Billion dollar equipment sponsor by saying “my driver sucks”. During his pre-round practice session with the launch monitor, he apparently hits back-pedalling speeds never seen before.

Loui plays another flawless round of 65 which dovetails very nicely with Thursdays 64 but Colin Morikawa isn’t letting him out of his sight. A new set of irons with different bounce angles to the set he used in Scotland, is the key. Plus a thumbs up to his equipment sponsor wont do any harm either.

Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson are lurking, Jon Rahm clearly still has plenty of steam with a 64 and Keopka restores my faith with 66 and tells the world “I love my driver”. Leishman misses the cut by one but Cam Smith is in the mix.      

Saturday – After barely making the cut Rory roars up the leader board with 31 hits on the front nine. I think I can speak on behalf of golf fans around the world by saying we miss the little leprechaun in the majors. Sadly he trips over on the back nine.

Jordan Spieth is another loveable lad who has been missing for a while but with a few holes to play is looking like the Spiethy of old. Two cheap and nasty bogeys to finish and it’s “Don’t even think about an autograph”.

Keopka shoots 72, and I want to shoot him.

So its Loui -12, Morikawa – 11, Spieth – 9

Sunday – I have made a lovely cup of Nespresso and go to the fridge to grab some crumpets. To my alarm, Sandra has totally flaunted tradition and bought square ones! And this on Open Sunday!! She becomes quite nasty as she points out that if Morikawa can change his irons to ones with a flatter sole, I can eat square crumpets. I have no idea what she means but when it comes to crumpet, I usually submit.

Spiethy arrives at the course holding his putter. He has obviously spent some quiet time last night with old Scotty Cameron after their previous days altercation.

Morikawa hits the best drive the first hole has seen all week and looks like he brought a bag full of intent. Loui looks like he is playing the Wednesday Stableford and Jordan is excited. Keopka is reminding us why he is the scariest major player on the planet with a front nine of 31; but the damage was done on Saturday. He’s the leader in the bar at minus 8.

Loui has held the lead since Thursday but a bogey on the 4th followed by a another on the easiest hole on the course and Morikawa takes the lead. Rahm goes on one of his ball striking rampages where there isn’t a flag at St Georges that’s safe! If just some of his putts fall he could be making some kind of history! Jordan is playing like a skinnier, wealthier version of me until he makes an eagle on 7. Then its back to what he does the best, CONTEND!.

Despite my early disappointment with the square crumpets, I’m fully into this championship! Not only the level of ball striking but the totally different characteristics and reactions from the challengers. Spieth is the ultimate competitor with resolve, grit and passion, Morikawa is aggressive, organized and driven and poor old Loui seems to be just waiting for the inevitable runner-up spot and thanking his lucky stars he won’t have to make a speech.

Morikawa breaks a bunch of records by becoming the Champion Golfer Of The Year. Sadly Loui is setting his own records with 7 top 3 major finishes and Jordo is back where he belongs.

I decide I don’t mind changes to tradition when Morikawa speaks of his new set of irons as only being 7,8 and 9 irons (three bloody clubs?!)…….and I gobble down my 4th square crumpet. 

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