“The Open Championship” or just simply “The Open” are both acceptable names to call this week’s upcoming major golf event — at least according to the tournament organizers. But, if you call it the British Open, be prepared to receive a healthy heaping of backlash from hyper-traditional golf fans.
Just a few days before the major begins, former professional golfer and American social media personality Paige Spiranac shared her warning to any fan who dare include “British” in The Open’s name.
“The Open week! Here’s your reminder to not call it the British or the British Open or else golf people will get mad because they hate everything,” she wrote.
The Open week! Here’s your reminder to not call it the British or the British Open or else golf people will get mad because they hate everything
— Paige Spiranac (@PaigeSpiranac) July 12, 2021
The main argument against calling it the British Open is the fact that The Open Championship (1860) predates the U.S. Open (1895). That being said, Americans have long used “British” as a distinguisher between two — much to the dismay of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A).
In recent years, the R&A has made a concerted effort to make sure everyone calls the tournament by its proper name. As part of their agreement to win broadcasting rights for the event back in 2016, NBC Sports was forced to sign a contract confirming they would only refer to the tournament as “The Open Championship” or “The Open,” per The Wall Street Journal.
Despite the R&A’s efforts, plenty of people still refer to the event as The British Open.
Whatever you call it, The Open Championship will tee off at Royal St. George’s Golf Club on Thursday morning.
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