The debate over what to call the British Open/Open Championship/The Open wages on as we approach the 146th playing of the, um, let’s just call it the tournament where they give out the claret jug to the winner. And this week, we learned that even Nick Faldo and Johnny Miller, two of golf’s all-time great players and most recognisable voices, can’t keep the name of golf’s oldest event straight.
During an NBC/Golf Channel teleconference, a reporter asked Miller if he ever gets tripped up by calling the tournament “the Open Championship”. That’s when Faldo quickly jumped in.
“The Open Championship is incorrect. It’s now The Open,” Faldo said, correctly pointing out the tournament’s recent re-brand as simply The Open. “You see? It’s gone from the British Open, the Open Championship, now it’s The Open.”
Then Miller responded, admitting he’s still confused by it all, but that it was always known as the British Open during his playing days and that’s what he still calls it. At least, when he’s not on the air.
“I have trouble with it,” Miller said. “I screwed up one time last year, if you call it a screw-up, which is pretty good in four days.”
Just one non-screw-up screw-up in four days? That is pretty good, Johnny. And likely part of the reason why NBC just signed you to another extension. No pressure, though, but we’ll be keeping track of how many times you say “British Open” next week at Royal Birkdale.
And then Faldo added a funny closing thought on the matter.
“In another five years it will be just called ‘The’.”
Well played, Sir Nick.