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The British Open and why you should care

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It starts tomorrow, or tonight actually by Pacific Time Standards.

There are only 4 major championships in professional golf and this is the third of 2012. If you follow the Mayan calendar with any religious conviction, you believe this will be the penultimate major. Ever. In the earth’s consternation, Stone henge, will tip over and slide 230 miles (400 km) northwest to Royal Lytham site of the Open Championship, furrowing the windswept fairways and greens and sending it into a state of utter cataclysmic disrepair.

It makes sense to watch just for that reason alone. Some other reasons are:

This might be where Tiger Woods wins his first major in over four years! His last—Torrey Pines. One of the best ever.

The sands of time are running out on Lee Westwood. He’s been close to a big one but still waiting patiently.

Current world-number-one Luke Donald has a good shot at winning this week. But he remains a dark horse as he’s yet to drink from the Royal Claret Jug or any other of such regal ilk.

Should Luke use the force or Westwood feel lucky, either would be the 10th consecutive first-time-major winner running.

The course sports a ton of hazards. Each one specializes uniquely in crushing hopes.

Winning at Royal Lytham may actually pack a curse for the champion. Its impressive resume of Open Championship winners includes the likes of: Bobby Jones (in 1926 when he was an amateur), Bobby Locke, Seve Ballesteros, Tom Lehman and David Duval.

Duval’s game went to Dante's inferno soon after tasting major success there, Lehman hasn’t done much since he won his, Seve (Sign of the Cross) died of brain cancer last year, Bobby Locke was banned from playing on the PGA Tour, Jones died of syringoyelia, a terminal spinal condition that triggered paralysis and death.

Bobby Locke was actually banned in '48, before he won it there in ’52. Masters champion Claude Harmon said of him, "Locke was simply too good. They had to ban him." But Locke’s biggest legacy, bigger than his 16-stroke drubfest at Chicago Victory National, that remains a record for winning margin, is the phrase he coined “You drive for show, but putt for dough.” And that couldn’t be more true. It’s the one big reason he had a long and successful career.

The weather will be a factor. The forecast calls for wind, rain and toil. If you get any kind of thrill watching the world's best at anything struggle, your next four days will be highly entertaining.

Another reason to care/watch, Ricky Fowler, from Anaheim, has a game well-suited for links style courses. With one professional win under his Sunday orange Puma belt, Fowler could be the fourth different American in a row to win a major.

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