There is a major championship taking place this week at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England and nobody knows what the heck to call it.
Is it the British Open? The Open? The Open Championship? Or something else entirely?
According to the R&A, the governing body that oversees the event, either The Open or The Open Championship is accurate. They have been on a crusade in recent years to stop Americans from calling the tournament the British Open, which is the most common moniker used by golf fans stateside.
Director of of sales and marketing at the R&A, Malcolm Booth, recently said that it’s an ongoing process to try and rid the ‘B’ word from American’s lexicons.
“It’s an education process we’ve embarked on,” Booth told the Wall Street Journal.
The R&A made calling the tournament exclusively either The Open or The Open Championship on-air a requirement as part of their broadcast rights deal with NBC Sports in 2016 and is now working to encourage written media outlets to follow suit.
Historically speaking, dubbing this event as The Open or The Open Championship makes sense because its first iteration at Prestwick Golf Club in 1860 marked the birth of modern golf.
The first United States Open was not played until 1895.
Still, to many, the nitpicking seems a bit silly.
In the midst of a NBC/Golf Channel teleconference last week, a reporter asked former player and current announcer Johnny Miller if he ever has any issues with saying the correct name for the event.
“I have trouble with it,” Miller conceded. “I screwed up one time last year, if you call it a screw-up, which is pretty good in four days.”
Nick Faldo, who like Miller is one of the most recognizable voices in all of golf, chimed in with a humorous final word on the matter.
“In another five years it will be just called ‘The.’ “