Who’s the darling at the British Open?
Tom Watson is getting all the love at the British Open.
That’s to be expected. Watson is 59 years old, and he’s tied for the lead at the British Open. He deserves every bit of attention he’s getting. Dude’s got a new left hip, for goodness sakes. The fact that he’s at the top of the leaderboard in a major is no small feat.
But a guy who should get plenty of love, too, is Steve Marino.
He’s the guy who’s tied with Watson for the lead after two rounds. They’ll be paired together in the third round Saturday. And while everyone will be falling over themselves about Watson, Marino is a heck of a story, too.
Born in Altus — yep, Altus — Marino was the first alternate for the British Open. A week ago, he wasn’t even in the field for the tournament. Then on Sunday, Shingo Katayama withdrew from the tournament with an upper back injury. Only then did Marino have a spot in the field.
Here’s a guy that didn’t know he was in the British Open until four days before the opening round. Now, he goes into the weekend tied for the lead.
And if that weren’t enough, Marino says he’s never played a links-style course, the style most often seen in the United Kingdom and played on during the British Open. Truth is, he’s never even been to Scotland. Marino could’ve fooled everyone about those two things with the way he’s playing.
Lots of folks will be pulling for Watson this weekend, and you can count me in that group. But it’s going to be difficult not to pull for Marino, too. Both guys are unlikely leaders, the best kind to cheer.
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