There would be no rounds of 8-under-par last Sunday at the British Open.
For those of you that missed it, the famed weather that comes with playing golf in Ireland reared its head for the final round last week.
Winds gusting to 30 miles an hour or more, rain squalls blowing through — this was the British Open as it was meant to be played.
All kinds of scoring records are being broken in major championships over the last few years.
Tour players have gotten better, bigger and stronger — and the equipment has improved so much that when you combine the two, 320 yard drives, and birdies everywhere, are becoming the norm rather than the exception.
In the next to last round on Saturday, benign conditions led to the eventual winner, Shane Lowry, tearing up the course at Royal Portrush on the coast of Northern Ireland.
Lowry had eight birdies and no bogeys, and in the process set the all-time scoring record for the Open after 54 holes at 16-under-par.
But Sunday was different.
With the wind howling, pars once again became good scores at a major championship.
Balls slightly off line were carried out of bounds by the wind, or into bushes and knee high rough just off the fairways and around the greens.
None of the 28 players in the last few groups during the final round managed to shoot under par on Sunday.
JB Holmes had a particularly brutal day for a professional, shooting a 16-over-par 87, when he had entered the final day just a few shots behind Lowry’s lead.
Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka started off the round with four straight bogeys to end his chances at yet another major win, prompting one of the announcers to quip, “Who are you sir, and what have you done with Mr. Koepka?”
Some of the scores from Sunday looked like your every day club championship. Justin Rose shot 79, Jordan Spieth, 77, Jon Rahm, 75, while second-place finisher Tommy Fleetwood, Rickie Fowler and Koepka all had 74’s.
Lowry was never seriously threatened, because he kept his ball under control with a beautiful low, controlled fade that he managed to keep on the short grass most of the day. And nobody could make a charge from behind, because in that wind, there were simply too few birdies available.
I love major championship golf, but lately, it seems that the pros have simply gotten too good, and have been tearing up even the toughest courses on the planet. I had a deep appreciation for the tough conditions that made the birdies few and far between — and the pars like gold.
Majors are supposed to be difficult, testing the nerves and abilities of the best players in the world.
It wasn’t that long ago that even par, or sometimes a couple over par, was good enough to win a major championship.
But Sunday at the Open, I was able to reminisce about the good old days, when the goal of most players was to make pars and limit the damage from mistakes.
Who wants to see 20-under-par win a major?
Not me, I want to watch the best players in the world struggle, battle and fight this dumb game the way I do.
They can make birdies galore at the next tournament. But four times a year, I want them to see them just make pars — and for those pars to be good enough to win.
Is that too much to ask?