Open Championship 2013 blog: Building towards an unpredictable climax

Open Championship 2013 blog from Bill Eliott at Muirfield

The Open

A SUBLIME day in Scotland. It's not often one may say this but hot sun, cooling breeze and the sight of Bass Rock shimmering at the far end of the Firth of Forth meant this 142nd Open Championship is building beautifully towards an unpredictable climax.   Unpredictable because, as Ernie Els, says "there's probably at least twenty players in the frame for this one. The wind, the rough and this brilliant golf course will make sure no-one runs away with it".   Ernie here is talking about the knowns. What he isn't talking about are the unknowns, those players who seem to be no more than part of a large chorus line but who end taking the limelight with a big solo at the end.   Still, that's the fun of it. And there is a lot of fun to be had around Muirfield, Gullane and North Berwick this week. Lots of golf to be watched and played, lots of beer/wine to be drunk and decent seafood to be scoffed.   There's also a concert featuring Vivaldi and Mozart to be staged at the splendidly names church of St Andrew Blackadder which is where Ben Elton and Richard Curtis presumably got the name from for Rowan Atkinson – and I've got tickets for it.   Sooner rather than later at an Open I need some quiet reflection and this musical evening offers the perfect antidote to all the other nonsense.   Incidentally, if you don't know already, the rough here is as thick as an elephant's, 'er, trunk. Not quite unplayable but close to it and certainly easy stuff in which to lose one's balls.   I mentioned this to Miguel Angel Jimenez when I bumped into him as he searched for a restaurant in North Berwick last night.

The old boy positively alive at the thought of this rough and immediately launched into what I can only assume was a careful, experienced pro's analysis of the good and bad points about rough at an Open.   I say 'assume' because, frankly, I struggled to understand a word he said, a combination of his accent and my partial deafness pairing up to render the interesting incomprehensible.

Let's hope Vibvaldi and Mozart come across clearer. We'll see.

Editor At Large

Bill has been part of the Golf Monthly woodwork for many years. A very respected Golf Journalist he has attended over 40 Open Championships. Bill  was the Observer's golf correspondent. He spent 26 years as a sports writer for Express Newspapers and is a former Magazine Sportswriter of the Year. After 40 years on 'Fleet Street' starting with the Daily Express and finishing on The Observer and Guardian in 2010. Now semi-retired but still Editor at Large of Golf Monthly Magazine and regular broadcaster for BBC and Sky. Author of several golf-related books and a former chairman of the Association of Golf Writers. Experienced after dinner speaker.