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Ailsa Craig

Ailsa Craig

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BIRDIE Turnberry, a gorgeous underdog of a golf course mauled Thursday, rallied to win the 138th British Open by Saturday, establishing again its heft among Open courses.

Criticized for its remote location behind two-lane roads, questioned for the low scores it had yielded in three previous Opens, and cornered when 50 players broke par on a tranquil Thursday, the Ailsa Course dug deep and revealed a menacing set of teeth even in the sunshine.

With help from its dearest friends, diabolical crosswinds, it permitted only five rounds under par and only one of them -- the 67 from Bryce Molder -- more than one under par.

Besides, the view out into the Irish Sea toward Ailsa Craig -- the extinct volcano that may have roared 500 million years ago, thereby preceding even Tom Watson's career -- qualifies as stunning, especially if while viewing it you're not attempting to play golf.,0,1202802.story
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