The GrindJuly 21, 2015

Zach claims the claret jug, Jordan just misses on more history, more St. Andrews magic, and a rowdy flight home

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we were forced to follow the final round of the British Open from an airplane -- and it was actually kind of fun. Flanked by my new buds Bob and Wayne in aisle 37, I plunked down $16.99 for in-flight internet access and tracked the tournament on Twitter (United Airlines really needs to figure out how to get streaming video to work) until my computer died. Then we switched over to Wayne's iPad and the back of the plane turned into a big living room with everyone getting into the action. Everyone except the middle-aged couple sitting in front of us, that is. They were NOT happy with Wayne yelling updates to his buddy a few rows back.

In the end, the united golf fans aboard United flight 109 were happy it was such an exciting finish, although a little disappointed we weren't still at St. Andrews to see it. My excuse for coming back on Monday was my wedding is this coming Saturday and staying an extra day in Scotland, well, let's just say I want to get off on the right foot. But before I walk a different aisle, let's walk through what was a wild and wonderful week at the Old Course.


Zach Johnson: We were disappointed with his finish at the John Deere Classic, but impressed with his preparation at St. Andrews the following day. And boy did it pay off. With a final-round 66, Johnson got into a playoff and defeated Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman to win the claret jug. With a pair of majors and 12 PGA Tour wins, Johnson has suddenly morphed from a very good player to a likely Hall of Famer. He may be one of the nicest guys on tour, but on the golf course, Zach Johnson is a bad, bad man.

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Jordan Spieth: Sure, he came up short of winning a third consecutive major, but what an unbelievable run. Despite never having the outright lead to himself all week, it just seemed inevitable Spieth would pull it out -- as Shane Ryan's piece perfectly summarizes. The Grand Slam bid may be over, but the fact that Spieth even dared come this close is a special accomplishment we'll be talking about for a long time. And how about sticking around to watch and congratulate the winner? All class.

Photos: Meet the WAGs of the PGA Tour

St. Andrews: My first trip to the Home of Golf exceeded even my high expectations. So much so that I felt compelled to take a lot of photos of the town/course and turn it into a slideshow. What a magical place. And it even had a Subway!

Photos: Meet the WAGs of the PGA Tour

Thank goodness for that Subway.


Dustin Johnson: This might be more inexplicable than any of his heartbreaking losses in majors. A 75-75 finish? On a course he was destroying for the first two days? Maybe he's not as unflappable as we all thought.

Adam Scott: How has this guy not won a British Open in the past four years with the way he's played in this event? On three of those occasions, he's had the lead on the back nine on Sunday only to completely implode. If the Open was 62 holes instead of 72, Scott would have a lot more hardware in his house.

Tiger Woods: It just keeps getting worse. We foolishly got excited over his iron play at the Greenbrier not realizing he'd then try to "attack" a vulnerable Old Course with those irons off the tee. Woods played with no confidence in any other clubs, and once again didn't even come close to making the cut at a major. Afterward, he was left talking about having to win his host event, the Quicken Loans National, next week just to get into the field at Firestone, where he's won eight times. Good one, Tiger!

Betting on Louis Oosthuizen: I've done it twice at majors and he's lost in a playoff both times now. What. A. Dagger. As good as the tournament was, there was certainly a letdown when Spieth didn't come through. And then I had another letdown when Louis didn't come through. And why wasn't there a streaker on the 18th green? Come to think of it, thanks to the Monday finish, he or she was probably on my flight.


The PGA Tour heads to the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club, aka that place where Tiger hit that incredible fairway bunker shot on the last hole when he was winning on a weekly basis in 2000.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Random tournament fact: Behind the British Open and the U.S. Open, this is the third-oldest continuously-running tournament on the PGA Tour. Some guy named John H. Oke won the first one in 1904 with a 16-over-par total of 156 for 36 holes.


-- Tiger Woods will win the Quicken Loans: 1 MILLION-to-1 odds

-- Tom Watson will have a third "final" sendoff at St. Andrews in 2020: 10-to-1 odds

-- There won't be as much talk about playing in the John Deere Classic ahead of the British Open next year: LOCK


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Pretty cool.


Chris Paul encouraging his son on the driving range was the cutest:

A video posted by Chris Paul (@cp3) on Jul 16, 2015 at 1:05pm PDT


"I'm grateful. I'm humbled. I'm honored. This is the birthplace of the game, and that jug means so much in sports. I felt great. I'm just in awe right now." -- Zach Johnson.


A photo posted by Erin Walker (@tourwifetravels) on Jul 15, 2015 at 8:13am PDT


We weren't joking last week about giving Paige her own spot, especially after the golf world's favorite new starlet stayed busy on Instagram during the Open. Here, she attempts juggling a golf ball with a twist:

A video posted by Paige Spiranac (@_paige.renee) on Jul 20, 2015 at 5:26pm PDT

Here she is absolutely crushing one off the tee:

A video posted by Paige Spiranac (@_paige.renee) on Jul 18, 2015 at 5:05pm PDT

And here she is demonstrating a good stretch.

A photo posted by Paige Spiranac (@_paige.renee) on Jul 15, 2015 at 1:23pm PDT

Thanks, Paige. Very helpful.


Jason Day came up just short at a major again, and it's tough not to look at the two bogeys he made on Saturday when the R&A screwed up and had golfers play in ridiculous conditions for 32 minutes. One of these, um, days, Jason. We hope. . . . None of my big bets for the week hit, but at least Danny Willett hung on to finish T-6 so I could collect on my "each way" (top six) wager on him. Again, it would have been nice to collect a win bet as well, but, alas, Louis O. . . . As expected, the food in the British Open media center was dicey all week, but these chocolate chip cookies were a surprising delight. . . . And yes, I'm really getting married this Saturday. To an actual person named Michelle. And she's lovely. Unfortunately, that means there will be no Grind for the next two weeks. Again, trying to get off on the right foot with this whole marriage thing. I hope my absence isn't too much for you to handle.


Will Jason Day ever win a major?

Will there ever be a Chili's in Scotland?

Will anyone miss me the next two weeks?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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