Neil and I have just had an amusing discussion on golfing history that escalated into a minor argument. It started off jovially as we considered re-writing the common consensus on the game’s origins, based on Quinta do Peru golf club in Portugal. It would go something like –
“In the 1370s the raft of some brave Inca fishermen was blown off course as they trawled for giant turtles. The currents took them around Cape Horn and across the Atlantic Ocean. They landed on the Portuguese coast somewhere near Lisbon where they settled. Without any source of entertainment they began to hit gull eggs into the sea with the oars from their raft. After a time they started to aim at trees, then dug small holes. Within three years they had formed a club and had contracted a firm of Portuguese landscapers to construct a course. They called it Quinta do Peru.”
Anyway, we then got on to the fact that Tappers has a very poor knowledge of golfing history – a fact he vehemently denies. I reminded him of a recent text he sent to me asking, “who won the Open in 1989?” I thought he was joking. How could the deputy editor of Golf Monthly not know it was Mark Calcavecchia?
For a bit of a laugh I’m going to set him a simple little Open Championship test and see how he gets on – here we go.
Q1 – Who won the Open Championship of 1975 and where was it contested?
Tappers – “Watson at Muirfield”
Answer – Watson at Carnoustie
Q2 – Who finished second in the 2004 Open?
Tappers – Much swithering going on… “Wait, it was Ernie Els.”
Answer – Yes it was Ernie Els but it really shouldn’t have taken three and a half minutes to figure it out.
Q3 – In what years did Seve win the Open?
Tappers – “1984, 1978 and 1976”
Answer – 1979, 1984 and 1988
Q4 – Name every Open champion of the 1990s
Tappers – “Faldo, Lehman, Leonard, Lawrie, was going to say Duval but no. How many have I got? Erm, Daly. Can I have Faldo again? Norman, Oh Nicky Price. Two more… Oh god. When did Lyle win? Calcavecchia – no can I take that back?…… Oh Baker Finch. One more…. Ernie Els?
Answer – He missed out Mark O’Meara
Q5 – Who won in 1970?
Tappers – “Nicklaus”
Answer – Nicklaus – I should point out that was a complete guess by Tappers.
Conclusion is that Neil is just shy of completely ignorant when it comes to the history of this great championship. He says he’s, “more about the flavour of these events.” Whatever that means.