Is It “The Open” or “The British Open”?
Golf's final major of 2021, the 149th Open Championship, starts early Thursday morning U.S. time (1:35am Eastern time) at Royal St. George's in Sandwich, England. Ireland's Shane Lowry (pictured with the Claret Jug) is the defending champion, he won it in 2019. The Open wasn't played last year because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
It is the oldest of the major championships, dating back to 1860. And you'll get a good argument as to which major is the most prestigious (The Masters, U.S. Open, or PGA Championship). If you ask most people outside the U.S., they would say "The Open". Or is it "The British Open?"
Here in the United States, ABC was the network that broadcasted the tournament exclusively through 2009. And they always called it "The British Open", because it's always played in the United Kingdom. ABC wanted to differentiate it from our Open, the U.S. Open, which is played every June.
But ask anyone outside the U.S. and they'll get mad if you call it "The British Open", they call it "The Open Championship". That's because they view it as the world's Open Championship. And they make a good point. There are multiple qualifying sites all over the world to get into the Open (errr, British Open). Just say "The Open Championship" in a Scottish accent, it's pretty cool sounding.
But, in this reporter's opinion, we're in the United States and we have our own Open. It's called the U.S. Open. And despite my disagreements with the United States Golf Association (USGA) (a topic for another day), it still belongs to us. And until I work for NBC (who broadcasts the "British Open" now) and am forced to call it the "Open Championship", I will call it "the British Open" thank you.
What do you think about it?