British Open: A Different Champ Would Be More Of The Same

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Tiger Woods is in the hunt at the British Open. Is this the major that brings him all the way back or will this be the time for someone else to shine? (AP)
Tiger Woods is in the hunt at the British Open. If he wins, he'll be the 16th champion in the last 16 major golf tournaments. (AP)

There have been 15 winners in the last 15 major golf championships. That's not a surprise; they always award a trophy to someone. What's more notable is there have been 15 different winners in those majors.

Christopher Clarey of The New York Times joined the show from St. Annes, England, where he's covering the 2012 British Open.

Clarey recently wrote that since Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open in 2008, golf has "descended into mob rule at the majors." How did the sport's most prestigious events suddenly go up for grabs?

[sidebar title="Making The Rounds" width="630" align="right"] Christopher Clarey recently reflected on covering British Opens at all nine locations over 15 years for The New York Times.[/sidebar]"Basically, what happened was the monarch lost some of his powers," Clarey said. "When Tiger won that U.S. Open in 2008, he was at the top of his powers, then injury problems and his own personal problems created an opening...there's a wealth of great young players, but there's not one person that can dominate like Tiger did."

In the NFL, the concept of "on any given Sunday" has helped make the league wildly popular, but that kind of parity hasn't been a boon for golf.

"I think you need one, two or three people at the top who are consistently challenging at the end," Clarey said. "We'll see what happens with Tiger. He may become that guy again. Men's tennis is a nice contrast. Men's tennis has three guys [Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer] who have won 29 of the last 30 [Grand] Slams, and interest has really grown in that sport."

This segment aired on July 21, 2012.


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