2012 British Open
The Director's Cut
Christian Iooss, Golf Digest and Golf World's Director of Photography, picks his staff favorites images from this year's British Open, and explains what makes them stand out
July 23, 2012
Why I like it: We take thousands of photos of Tiger every year. What makes this cool is that Dom got very close to him for a pivotal moment in his round. Seeing his hand off the club, the hay in the air, and his foot off the ground shows how much effort Tiger put into the shot -- and he only hacked it a few yards.
Why I like it: Let's start with this guy's name. Thorbjorn. What's not to love? Other than that, this is a shot that's unique to the British. It's really the only time of the year that you see so many shots in which guys have to take awkward stances just to advance the ball out of the bunkers.
Why I like it: I love the lines on this shot. The bunkers are moving in one direction, the grandstands are moving in another. It's really a well-composed picture.
Why I like it: This was shot at a focal length of 20 millimeters, which put Darren extremely close to the action. To get this shot, he had to get extremely low to the ground in front of Colsaerts. You can see the divot flying past him, and the ball whizzed right by his head. It's not a vantage point you get very often.
Why I like it: I like the layers to this shot because of the foreground, the middle, and the back. It feels like Westwood is being enveloped by the gallery.
Why I like it: That's not just sand flying. A lot of it is water. Bradley put his rainsuit on to hit this shot out of a puddle in the bunker. It was an unusual predicament, but Bradley pulled the shot off.
Why I like it: Sometimes, something as simple as a player checking his lie makes for a telling picture. Just by how closely he's looking at his ball, you can get a sense for how deep the rough was at Lytham. Scott's posture suggests that he's bowing to the golf course.
Why I like it: By Open standards, Royal Lytham isn't the most scenic of courses. What I like about this shot at No. 10 is that it's the only elevated tee box on the course, allowing for a really clean image of a player offset against the sky.
Why I like it: This is another example of how dense the rough was at Lytham. There are seven people frantically looking for a ball that had only been hit a few feet. It also perfectly sums up Phil Mickelson's disappointing two rounds.
Why I like it: This is another type of scene unique to the British Open: a dramatic, gloomy sky, fans with umbrellas in tow, and some player you've never heard of -- Toshinori Muto -- on the leader board. I love how everyone's eyes are intensely fixed on the ball.
Why I like it: This is actually the same bunker that Mickelson hit into earlier in the week. The picture gives a great perspective on how deep and daunting the bunkers at Lytham were. Clearly Snedeker didn't have many options in escaping.
Why I like it: Wayward tee shots, like the one Ernie hit on No. 16 on Sunday, sometimes make for interesting settings. It looks like he interrupted a party. The fact that he executed this chip as well as he did is even more impressive considering how many eyes were on him at the time.
Why I like it: It's amazing how an entire tournament can come down to one moment. This shot has it all: the crestfallen player, the ball past the hole, the scores of surprised spectators in the background. Even Scott's playing partner McDowell isn't sure how to react.
Why I like it: Trophy shots can be a bit of a cliché. The reason this one stands out is that Ernie's personality comes across. It was an awkward way to win a major, but Els handled it with class.