English golfer Ian Poulter, when interviewed this week about the upcoming Open Championship at Turnberry, referred to the tournament as the "British Open," which is a big no-no.
A bit of background for you non-golfers. The Open Championship, a.k.a. the British Open, is the oldest major tournament in golf, having first been played in 1860. In other words, it was well-established as an important "open" tournament long before the US Open came into existence.
In the UK, and basically everywhere except the United States, for this very reason the tournament is known and referred to as the Open Championship. In the US, golfers tend to call it the British Open, which started off as a harmless way to differentiate it from the US Open.
It seems acceptable for US golfers to do this, though in the past it was frowned upon. But Poulter, born in Hitchin, a town in Hertfordshire, England, ruffled a lot of feathers for referring to the tournament as the British Open, not just once, but five times during an interview. He was later called out on it by another reporter, and he apologized and said it wouldn't happen again.
I'm not sure exactly where I stand on this. Usually, I tend to respect tradition, and I know I'd be annoyed if I held a tournament and people didn't call it by its proper name. But on the other hand, some of this smacks of elitism, i.e. the Open Championship has been around longer, is a more important tournament, and should be held in higher regard than the US Open.
Either way, I'll be tuning in this week to see if Paddy Harrington can do the unthinkable and win his third straight Brit--er, Open Championship.
4 days ago