We all deserve a world-class Open

April 6 2020 was a dark day in the history of The Open – this was the day that it was announced that The Open at Royal St George's would be cancelled and played the following year. Hence the 150th Open, the greatest major in the game, would have to wait until now.

The Championship that dates back to 1860 will be celebrating the biggest milestone in most of our lives and back at the Home of Golf for a 30th time. Tiger’s in the field, the prize money’s up to a record $14m, up a staggering 22 per cent on last year, and the winner will pick up $2.5m. The last time we were at the Old Course Zach Johnson received less than half of this sum.

But how most of us would rather go back to those times with Jordan Spieth chasing a Grand Slam and the game was all about the game. These days golf has never been more toxic. The men’s professional game has been flung apart by LIV Golf and a phalanx of superstar names chasing the money. One or two might still be trotting out the notion that they’re ‘growing the game’ but, in truth, they’re shrinking it in terms of world-class talent on a weekly basis.

Away from everything else, from a fan point of view, it's just sad. The best days of the 40-plus brigade might be behind them but we’d all still love to see the likes of Mickelson and Westwood on a weekly basis rather than not. Whatever we think of Bryson DeChambeau we still want to see him tackle the best courses against the best players rather than not. He's genuinely different and different is good.

We don’t want every headline and every press conference to catapult back to the topic of LIV Golf; we now hear about talk of death threats and players being hidden away in twoballs in the middle of a load of legal action.

This might be the final men’s major of the year but this is the very heart of the golfing season and, for those of us in the UK, this is when we finally get to enjoy some decent weather. Before long there’ll be very little golf of any real merit to talk about and we’ll all be back on the bandwagon of second-guessing who’s next on their way to Greg Norman’s circus.

So let's hope for a special week in Scotland.

If there was one golfing wish for the 150th Open it would be that the golf takes centre stage again, if only for one week. For many the Old Course is the best course on the planet, there’s certainly nothing like it in the modern game, and wouldn’t be it lovely to see a bit of wind, the odd bunker-led disaster and bundles of birdies.

After the past couple of years and, in a very different way the last few months, we all deserve an Open for the ages. We want the sun-baked fairways – the forecast looks like playing ball at the moment – and the roars to be ringing round the old girl. We want quirky bounces, awkward stances, 80-feet putts and ingenious angles to stop a player from getting anywhere near the hole from 100 yards.

Let’s hope for a truly worthy Champion Golfer (and not from the LIV camp) and a proper battle down the stretch. Let’s pray that we’re talking about a red-hot battle down the stretch and, if many of us were allowed just one pick, how amazing would it be to see Rory finally turn four into five.