If you were to pick a
-sponsored player to win the
U.S. Open earlier this month, you probably would have picked
. Or world No. 3 Paul Casey. Or rising star Anthony Kim.
You would have picked anybody but the quiet, unremarkable Lucas Glover, who had won only one other
tournament. He had to go through sectional qualifying just to get into the event.
Next up is the season's next major championship, the British Open, in July. The tournament will be held at the refurbished Turnberry Resort in Scotland, where Tom Watson edged out Jack Nicklaus by a shot in the legendary "Duel in the Sun." The resort has been modernized and expanded in a bid to bring the tournament back to Turnberry for the first time in 15 years.
Last weekend, the En-Joie Golf Club near Binghamton, New York, hosted the third
Dick's Sporting Goods
Open, formerly known as the Senior Tour. From 1971 to 2005, En-Joie hosted the PGA Tour's B.C. Open (named for Broome County or the comic "B.C.," created by regional native and golf nut Johnny Hart, depending on whom you ask).
Beginning in 2000, it was held the same week as the British Open, causing it to have a weak field. Still, players love the tournament for its friendly, homey atmosphere.
For that reason, it was much like the LPGA Tour's Corning Classic, which recently ended its 30-year run after title sponsor
and the Tour failed to reach a new agreement. Indeed, Corning has talked about possibly sponsoring a Champions Tour event in as a replacement. So it's heartening to see pro golf remain in a town that has supported it.
At the moment, the Champions Tour is going through something of a lull. Built on the star power of Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, the Tour's big gun at the moment is Bernhard Langer, a champion who lacks charisma. Something similar could be said of other top over-50 players like Larry Mize, Loren Roberts, Jeff Sluman and Jay Haas. All are chasing the
Cup, the Champions Tour's version of the PGA Tour's
Cup season-long bonus pool.
The Tour's Web site tacitly acknowledges as much with its home-page story, "Closing in on a half century," which lists the players soon to turn 50. Major champions Fred Couples and Corey Pavin top the list.
Still, the Champions Tour shows how golf tournaments used to feel -- intimate, relaxed and polite.
Evan Rothman is a freelance writer living in Staatsburg, N.Y. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Esquire, Men's Journal and other leading publications.