Hello everyone. Golf's oldest major is upon us and The Stack is super excited for this tournament. Of course, it means setting a 3:30 AM alarm, but that's fine. This promises to be an exciting tournament. More on the British Open in a moment. First to the other top headlines in "the stack" for today, Thursday, July 19:
Penn State students still love Paterno
As a sign that of their unwavering support of the late Joe Paterno, a group of students at Penn State met at the statue and continued with a vigil Wednesday night. They say they will try to keep this up as much as possible. Understandibly, they are trying to defend their school and one of the best coaches college sports has ever seen. But they are turning a blind eye to all that is out there and are only looking at the Paterno everyone knew before news of the scandal broke. At some point, they and the rest of Paterno's supporters, have to realize this.
In other college news, Pittsburgh has agreed to pay a $7.5 million buyout to leave the Big East in July 2013 to move to the ACC a year early and TCU has settled a suit from the Big East for $5 million. TCU backed out of the Big East and instead accepted an invite to play in the Big 12. When will they madness of changing conferences stop? It is wrecking college sports.
RGIII signs deal
Robert Griffin III has signed a deal with the Washington Redskins that will get him into training camp as the rookies arrive ahead of the veterans. The number two overall pick signed a four-year $21.1 million deal with over half of the money, close to $13 million guaranteed. The Redskins and their fans are putting a lot of eggs into the RGIII basket. They are expecting big things. Don't expect RGIII to be like Cam Newton was last year. He'll be decent, but not like that. This deal should start a domino effect with more of the rookies in the top ten signing deals here shortly.
Also inking his rookie deal was New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower. The 25th pick in the draft signed a four-year deal.
And people continue to weigh in on troubled Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant in light of his latest arrest. He probably needs to be suspended by the Cowboys for at least a couple of games. If they don't do anything, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is bound to step in.
Big Papi headed to DL
Boston Red Sox DH slugger David Ortiz is on the 15-day DL with a right Achilles strain. He suffered the injury while rounding the bases on an Adrian Gonzalez homerun Monday night. The injury bug continues to hit the Red Sox. This has just not been their season.
British Open preview
Alright. It is time for the British Open preview. To start out with, the first hole at Royal Lytham & St. Annes is a par 3. That's right a par 3. You almost never see that in a major. Yet that is what we have so it is crucial for the players to come out and get a good scoreon the opening hole. If not, it could spell doom for their round. The psychology of getting a par or better on this opening hole is huge. A bogey or worse can really mess with the players' minds.
This week leading up to the Open, we've heard how the bunkers are terrible and the rough is almost unplayable. And that's they key. Who can keep the ball straight and out of trouble? There are 205 bunkers that will give players headaches all day long if they can't keep the ball in the fairway.
As always, weather will play a major role in the championship. It's been the wettest stretch between April and July in England's history. The winds can whip around at any time. One hole it can be 20 mph, the next hole ten or less. However, unlike the other link courses that play host to the championship, this course is not by the sea so the winds may not whip around quite as much.
So who's going to win the British Open? Will we have an obscure name like Louis Oosthuizen or an older golfer like Darren Clarke? Americans have won the last three majors. Can they complete the American slam by winning the British Open? Is this the time that Rory McIlroy finally gets his act together since winning the U.S. Open last year? A lot of questions, with lots of possible answers. Tiger Woods has looked really well the past couple of months. Is he back? I think it is time to fear Woods, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's going to win. I do think Lee Westwood will have a strong weekend and he will make a push to win the championship. So I'm going to cop out by saying this. I'm picking Woods, Westwood or someone that people outside the sport of golf have never heard of or have barely heard of. Like a Louis Oosthuizen, I believe that there is someone in the field that comes out and shoots amazing. So, I don't like anyone in the top ten to win unless their name is Tiger or Lee. I don't like anyone in the top twenty-five for that matter. It's Woods, Lee or someone we've paid little attention to. And I can't quite pinpoint who that may be. That's the beauty of the British Open. Enjoy the tournament everyone.
Coming up Friday: First round reaction of the British Open plus other top sports headlines
Comments and suggestions on what to write about are always welcomed and appreciated.