Such a tournament is always greatly anticipated, but because there are some other huge events in between, the focus of the golf fans is never 100% on The Open.
With the beginning of the tournament week, this abruptly changed and, like every year, the following questions arose:
- Will the winning score be as high again as the last time the tournament was held in Royal Birkdale in 2008?
- Will the weather be as unpredictable as in the past?
- Will the amateurs play a leading role into the weekend like in 2016?
Thursday made the American viewers cheer for a start. The first day ended with a trio at the top. However, one may not forget how unpredictable the golf course is. Too often, the nerves of some top players were blown away by the English wind on the weekend, causing whispering among the viewers.
The fact that a Vice ball is now gracing the fairways (and roughs) of Royal Birkdale for the first time is a novelty and a knightly accolade for our young golf ball brand, which is gaining popularity internationally. Among the viewers, some are poking each other and pointing to the ball, when it unintentionally happens lands near the viewer. In social networks, some Tweets, for example, are: “Lots of mad golfers here at #TheOpen and everyone is talking about @VICE_GOLF Unbelievable golf balls!!” Even some international top stars, who you stand across from during autograph sessions, lifted their eyes from under their hats and nodded favorably.
And already on Friday, entirely different wind forces blew across the course. The English rain, which came from the side nonstop due to the wind, pushed both some balls to very undesired places and the scores up. The fact that professionals are still playing for level par under such conditions, underlines the adaptability and the class of the players. Already on Friday, The Open turned into a real test for all participants. The cut was accordingly high with five above par, causing some players, who had already packed their things in their mind, still being able to hope to move forward into the weekend. Among the ocean of umbrellas, we were actually able to spot some Vice caps and Vice umbrellas – so, not only the ball found popularity at this event!
So, the first players showed up on Saturday with the beaming morning sun and made use of the temporary still wind to work themselves to the top little by little with birdies. The course record was set at 62 hits. Some of those that wanted to pack their things on Friday were no longer far from the top 10 or even the top 5 all of a sudden. But already by the afternoon, you could not compare the conditions to the previous day and top players left the field. You could meet the players, who did not make it into the weekend, at smaller units at the driving range. Many were available for questions and answers and were enjoying the atmosphere of The Open.
With more than 235,000 viewers during the tournament, a record was set. The question came up as to whether the Americans, who had fled from the field, would give the rest of the field a chance or not. The clear answer: no. The relatively calm conditions, as well as the hardened players, controlled the events until the end. This way, the young American Jordan Spieth was able to lift his Claret Jug into the sky at the end of a long tournament. Thanks primarily went to the venue, as well as the over 1,500 helpers, who ensured a smooth process in different positions.
To bring an impressive golf weekend to an end, the highlight was that our Vice team was allowed to play the “Open course” in the tracks of the stars the day after the final day and bravely fought with fresh winds. We can now say from our own personal experience that pot bunkers, as soon as you are in them yourself, are even deeper than they seem from the outside.
Afterwards, for the final meeting, there was fish & chips for the Vice team to light up the England flair once more. Carnoustie 2018 is already greatly anticipated!