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Death, taxes, and golf fans yelling about whether it’s The Open or the British Open. Like clockwork, each time Open Championship week rolls around the age-old debate of what the tournament is actually called, or whether or not it’s appropriate to even call it the British Open, ensues. Collin Morikawa, a former Champion Golfer of the Year, has made his mind up on the matter.
Speaking ahead of this week’s Open at Royal Liverpool, Morikawa was asked about the two names and gave both a rather savage, and accurate response.
“I think people understand whether you say British Open or The Open,” Morikawa said. “At the end of the day if you win it you can call it whatever the hell you want.”
“I definitely called it the British Open the year I won and then people gave me hate for it, so then I called it The Open last year, but I played better when I called it the British Open, so I might call it the British Open,” Morikawa continued.
Americans are the only ones who sometimes refer to The Open as the British Open. Given that the United States has its own open, the U.S. Open, some suggest American golf fans call it the British Open to differentiate between the two majors. That would make sense, but American fans neve refer to the U.S. Open as just ‘the open,’ it’s always called the U.S. Open.
As for the technically correct name for the major across the Atlantic, it’s The Open. The word ‘British’ has never officially been associated with the tournament.
The R&A – the golf governing body that runs The Open – really doesn’t want it to be called anything but The Open or Open Championship.
Back in 2016 during broadcast negotiations, NBC reportedly had to agree as part of its contract to only refer to the major championship as The Open or The Open Championship.
At the end of the day, it’s only golf historians and a group of snobby golf fans that actually care whether or not the tournament is called by its proper name.
It’s arguably the greatest golf event on the planet and every golf fan recognizes it, so call it what you wish.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris