Tag Archives: Jack Nicklaus

Nadal: Grunting His Way to Greatness

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I’m really into Nadal’s grey and pink outfit this year.

The talk at the start of the U.S. Open was all about the possible Rafa and Roger showdown in the quarter finals. Sadly this never came to pass as Fed’s disappointing year ended by him being thrown to the curb by some guy named Tommy Robredo.

It’s probably for the best though, as it would have been too painful to watch Federer endure another Rafa beat-down. I am starting to believe that by 2017, many will acknowledge Rafa, and not Roger, as tennis’s G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time).

Tonight, Rafa squares off against Djokovic once again, continuing the biggest and longest head-to-head rivalry in the modern age of tennis. Rafa is arguably the hottest player in tennis and holds a 21-15 lead in match-ups with Djoko. It’s not a huge advantage, but Rafa still has the upper hand.

With Rafa being healthy and in his full-on beast mode, I like his chances of lifting his second U.S. trophy tonight. Now, let’s look at the tennis landscape as the dust settles after the year’s final major: Rafa is your player of the year with two majors, the No. 1 ranking and his health.

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Rafa celebrates his U.S. Open win in 2010.

But more importantly he now has 13 MAJORS! (13!) Why is no one talking about this? If he can pull this last major out, the great Fed and his 17 majors will finally be in Rafa’s reach. Four majors is a lot (just ask that whiny bitch Eldrick Woods) but I think we can bank on Rafa winning two more French Opens in the next few years. This puts his total to 15 majors and counting, and still leaves him 3 to 4 more years of playing majors at a high level.

By the way, I believe this fear is what keeps Roger going. Everyone talks about him walking away, but I think he feels that one more, just one more major, could put things a little more out of reach. But if Rafa wins tonight and with his dominance on clay, his march towards Federer (and all-time greatness) should become the game’s biggest plotline.

Be afraid Roger, be very afraid.

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The British are Coming!

No major carries the cool factor like The Open. Starting today, I will, like every year, be glued to the TV (or PVR to be exact).

This is the year for an Englishman to break through again. Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Justin Rose have never played better but if we can give them one piece of advice, bring your style game on Sunday if you are in the hunt.

Check out Arnold Palmer on the right above, holding court with the elder statesmen Sam Snead and a young Jack Nicklaus at Royal Troon in 1962. I can’t get enough of the collar-up look and that cardigan is perfection.

And below, some of the big winner over the last five decades that managed to not only bring home the Claret jug but looked damn good doing it.

The last Englishman to win on home soil was Tony Jacklin in 1969. Not only did he make all of England proud, but he did so wearing head-to-toe lilac. Not a lot of men could pull this off. MG says she sees a little Michael Sheen in him here.

In the modern era, Tom Watson, a five-time winner, IS the Open Championship.

I started playing golf because of one man: the late Severiano Ballesteros. Seve still remains my all-time favourite player. His swash-buckling, take no prisoners approach to the game led him to three Open Championships. There will never be another one like him and Seve looked the part of champion at all times.

Before he was known as “The Shark,” Greg Norman won his first major wearing Lyle&Scott, one of golf’s iconic brands in the 1980s and he looked good. After winning his first Open Championship in 1986, he went on to win only one more major. As a kid, I considered my three Lyle & Scott shirts sacred.

-CH

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