Ten years on from the last Open Golf Championship at Carnoustie I was fortunate to be able to attend another exciting final day.
Ten years ago, with Andrew aged 11, and his friend, we watched a thrilling final eventually won by Padraig Harrington.
That final day started out wet, and before setting out on the course we watched a young man (unknown to us) practice on the putting green. This young man was Rory McIllroy. We then went to the 4th/14th stand. It was by now raining even harder and Andrew and his friend amused themselves by collecting rain drips in the plastic wrappings of their already eaten snacks!
2018. This year I was without Andrew and that made me sad. Andrew has been a young man for some years now. I am now an older man.
The friendship that I found at the Open was, as ever, wonderful.
The resurgence of a more relaxed Tiger Woods encouraged the summer day:
This was Tiger Woods brilliant approach shot to the first green:
But he missed the putt, and by the 14th much of the“bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun” was gone:
Jordan Spieth, the Open Champion of 2017, was a favourite to win at Carnoustie. He was in the last pairing thanks to his special third round score of 65:
Up till the 15th he remained in contention. At the 15th he hit the best approach shot of the day, but his putt was poor. This was Spieth just after this putt:
Phil Mickelson was never to contend at Carnoustie (his 2013 win at Muirfield, and the sound of his second shot to the final green, stays with both me and my son Andrew):
The poet and artist, Ian Hamilton Finlay, once said that his garden ‘Little Sparta’ was “not just a retreat” but also an “attack”:
The loudest cheer on the Carnoustie links was when Rory McIllroy made an eagle put on the 14th [these are images from the 15th green, where I was watching]:
Back to 2007, we watched Padraig Harrington win a tightly contested play-off:
We also witnessed a boy who was to become a golfing giant:
In Vladamir Nabokov’s “Speak, Memory” he remarked:
I followed the amateur Sam Locke on the final day of the Carnoustie Open. He was awarded the Silver Medal:
Francesco Molinari was nerveless:
This attentive student was now champion: