Stood Up At The Gas Station Subway: A Lament

Two extremesSometimes this job involves standing on the green at St. Andrews in the shadow of a century-old hotel as the sun sets beyond the far grandstands, gulls swooping in the purple and pink sky on breezes from the North Sea. And sometimes this job involves sitting in a plastic booth in an anonymous gas-station Subway in the middle of nowhere, South Carolina, listening to an awful dance remix of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and waiting two hours on a source that never shows. What a difference two weeks makes, huh?

Bitter? Nah. It’s part of the gig. Connections missed, messages garbled. Plus, it all makes for great scene for the eventual article. Or, at the very least, a chance to try a new Carolina BBQ joint. No offense, Subway.

Read! A roundup of my 2015 British Open stories

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 5.04.10 AMSo I hit St. Andrews, Scotland for the British Open (or Open Championship, if you’re being specific), and oh, it was a hell of a trip. It’ll take me a little while to distill this down into a fine, fine literary whisky, but for now, here’s a list of the best of the 15,000 words I wrote over the past six days.

• Here’s a quick story on the wicked Jigger Inn Challenge, one of the most devilish in golf. The Jigger Inn is located right beside the 17th green. You go in, you drink as many pints as you like, and you try to shoot fewer strokes than pints you drank.

• Got to walk in with Tom Watson for his final round at the British Open. A very cool moment, and I tried to capture it.

• A little story of St. Andrews’ history: how a horde of rabbits led to a family receiving the most valuable prize in golf.

• Things continue to go poorly for Tiger Woods. I enjoyed writing this particular lede. Woods also dealt with jabs from the AARP, of all people.

• Here’s my pre-tourney writeup of Jordan Spieth. The guy is as composed and ready as anyone in sports.

• Talked with John Daly a bit after his opening round. Pleasant dude. We didn’t get into why  he blocked me on Twitter, which is probably for the best.

• Non-golf but still cool: the secret tunnels beneath St. Andrews Castle near the course.

• What did the players do during the long Open downtime? Spieth napped, DJ worked out.

• A cool moment: David Duval returns from obscurity to post a great third day at the Open.

• Jordan Spieth sets himself up for the big final day: “I don’t want to place third. I want to win.” (He would end up tied for fourth, alas.)

• Dustin Johnson fell apart late in a major once again.

• On the tournament’s final day, Phil Mickelson put a shot onto a balcony at the Old Course Hotel. That wasn’t the best move for his championship chances.

• Here’s the gamer, noting Zach Johnson’s win at the moment it happened.

• This Open saw plenty of endings, but Jordan Spieth is going to be around for decades to come.

• Finally, here’s how to play the Old Course yourself. See if you can succeed where Jordan Spieth fell short!

Thanks to all of you for hanging with me through this amazing trip. I raise a glass to each of you.

Sports. Novels. Comics. Poker. Bourbon.