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The Loop

We played Pokemon Go at the British Open and here's what we saw

TROON, Scotland -- We know, we know. We should stop looking at our phones walking around the golf course and start appreciating the beautiful views at Royal Troon. Yeah, yeah. We've done a lot of that this week. Troon is a great setting that has seen some of the most legendary golfers in history walk its fairways.

None of those golfers, however, grew up on the glorious video game of Pokemon. So we figured, why not put our Millennial interests to good use and see if anything hilarious happened when playing Pokemon Go at a major championship.

We're just hoping Bobby Jones grants us forgiveness.

By now, you've at least heard about the popularity of Pokemon Go as a growing smartphone game. Some have called it a global phenomenon. That's a little much. It has caused two people to fall off a cliff in California as they searched for rare Pokemon. Thankfully, we were safe at Royal Troon and didn't get hurt.

A quick synopsis of the goal of the game for those fortunate enough not to have been hooked on the game: Virtual characters appear through the app and can be caught by confronting them (through the phone) and capturing them.

So, we thought we'd go around Royal Troon and see what Pokemon we found -- at the risk of having our credentials taken away for improper use and losing our street cred among our fellow journalists. That might already be gone, so what the heck, let's go catch 'em all!

Unfortunately, it was the most basic Pokemon in the game.


Troon's famous Marine Hotel has hosted some of the dignitaries in the history of golf. Tom Watson stayed in a room with a view of the 18th hole when he won here in 1982. Now, it's the backdrop of us catching Ghastly.


After we caught Ghastly -- alas: A Magnemite appeared right next to the Marine Hotel, as well. What luck. Now the Marine Hotel will be known as the biggest hotbed of Pokemon at Troon, in addition to being, you know, a famous hotel.


I mean, how could these people keep walking when there's a cold, live Magikarp on the ground? This is what you live for.


This poor, unsuspecting guy was actually trying to watch golf when I caught Rattata. If only he knew what he was missing.


Found Goldeen hanging out by the 17th green. What a Goldeen move.

Then, suddenly: The best part of the week . . . out at Royal Troon's most famous holes -- the Postage Stamp (the par-3 eighth) and the Railway (the par-4 11th) -- we found what we were looking for.

The rarest of rare Pokemons. Moltres! At the Postage Stamp! What a moment in golf history.


And then we walked to Railway, which Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus are famously tied to . . . and we found an Articuno.

History really does happen here!


Those last two photos are obviously photoshopped in case you scrolled over this too fast. Alas, the WiFi didn't work very well at the most famous holes on the course. And if you play Pokemon Go, you know the struggle of the servers being down the last two days. So our adventures were limited to Wednesday and Thursday. Probably for the best.


Yeah, not a great haul of Pokemon. Either the members of Troon caught all the rare Pokemon before the Open started this week, or it isn't exactly the hotbed for Pokemon interest. Yes, this is all us being facetious. Go back to watching golf.