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Latest Peter Dawson Items
The first order of business at the British Open was for Ernie Els to hand over the claret jug.
Two dozen cameras were in position Monday morning to capture the first big moment of this British Open, only they weren't anywhere near the golf course. They waited in the driveway as a silver station wagon pulled through the gate and stopped in front of the clubhouse at Muirfield.
Now it's up to the 43-year-old South African to reclaim the silver prize, and that doesn't figure to be easy. He won the last time the Open was played at Muirfield in 2002. He has more top 10s in the British Open than any other major. But he has this piece of history working against him — the last major champion in his 40s to successfully defend his title was Old Tom Morris, and that was 151 years ago.
A storm is brewing at Muirfield.
Golf's two governing bodies outlawed the anchored putting stroke used by four of the last six major champions, approving a new rule that starts in 2016 and urging the PGA Tour to follow along so the 600-year-old sport is still played under one set of rules.
The new rule does not ban the long putters, only the way they commonly are used. Golfers no longer will be able to anchor the club against their bodies to create the effect of a hinge.
Selected quotes on the Royal & Ancient and U.S. Golf Association approving Rule 14-1b, which bans in 2016 the anchored stroke commonly used with long putters:
The biggest rivalry in golf at the moment could be the heads of two different organizations on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
The course at Muirfield will be lengthened by 158 yards for this year's British Open.