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Friday, July 23, 2021

I Forgot the Senior Open Championship!

It always happens the week after THE OPEN and yet I forgot about it. The first round was played Thursday, but at least there are three rounds left.

And the leaderboard is already kinda interesting.

2019 defending chmapion Bernhard Langer

Darren Clarke is tied for the lead at -5, 2019 defending champion Bernhard Langer is tied for 3rd at -4, and Jerry Kelly and Ernie Els are in a large group in 6th place at -3. Jim Furyk, the US Senior Open champion, is in a tie for 35th at even par.

Perhaps the most interesting story at this point is James Kingston, who's tied with Clarke for the lead. The South African just recently got out of the hospital where he was recovering from COVID. He said he felt unprepared but he loves the course and thinks that may have helped him a lot.

And the course? That's Sunningdale Golf Club in Sunningdale, Berkshire, England, roughly 30 miles WSW of London. If that course sounds familiar, it's because Karen Stupples won the 2004 Women's British Open there. She started the final round with an albatross and a birdie on the first two holes of the final round on her way to a 64. So there are scores to be had at Sunningdale if you play the course properly.

Clarke alluded to this in his post-round remarks Thursday. He said:

“I played smart around here. I hit away from the flags to the middle of the greens and gave myself some chances, and kept giving myself chances there in the last few holes. Didn’t make anything at the end, but just played smart. I think the winner is going to have to play smart this week.”

GC's live coverage on Friday starts at 7:30pm ET.

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