I missed the final day of The Open on Sunday.
My mate got married on a farm and a combination of a pool party, the eventual British summer, an epic hangover followed by some hangover delaying wine meant I couldn’t really be the guy that nipped inside to watch golf.
I made it back with a dead phone to walk in my house to see Stenson’s final putt and the commentators screaming as if they’d seen something special.
I then saw the Swede was -20 and had won by three from Mickelson, who was a further 11 ahead of third. I genuinely thought Sky had credited them both with 10 extra shots and that it was mistake.
I then watched the highlights and was gutted that I’d actually missed one of the best major Sundays of all time.
It reminded me of the time I played Sunday golf when Man City won the league back in 2012. It’s only QPR at home I thought, there won’t be any drama.
And my hangover came back.
For all of the negative headlines golf has had recently with the old tosspots at Muirfield and the fact every golfer on the planet is withdrawing from the Olympics citing the Zika virus or Rory who wants to watch diving instead whilst catching Pokemon.
For all of them, golf needed some excitement and something special. And it got this.
Not only was there an epic final round battle but our man Beef delighted the nation and reaffirmed his cult status. Golf needs a million of this man.
The players, as they normally do, did their job.
The broadcasting from Sky was more creative to be fair to them and looked like it might be heading in the right direction. Perhaps our endless moaning has gotten into the producers there!
Unfortunately though the fact The Open was taken away from free-to-air television meant only 25% of last year’s audience tuned in.
Hopefully the extra revenue received by the R&A will be put to good use in engaging those other 75% of people who could have been inspired by the magic of Stenson and Mickelson last Sunday.
But for followers of the R&A you’d excuse us for being slightly sceptical with their ability to be innovative and forward thinking. Who knows? Maybe they’ll surprise us.
They pushed The Open everywhere. Sky ads, newspaper and even ads on the tube and yet attendance dropped. Perhaps this can be put down to bad weather or £80 tickets… either way they’ll need to try something else next year.
For when two gladiators like Stenson and Mickelson come down the 18th after a round like that they don’t deserve an empty seat, let alone the empty stand I saw.
If golf won’t sell that product. Golf needs to change.
I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.