The Open Championship, golf's oldest and most prestigious major tournament, unfolds for the 146th time this week at Royal Birkdale on England's northwest coast.
That's the title the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews prefers for its signature event. In America, the tournament has long been known as the British Open. The R&A has launched a campaign for the U.S. media to drop the British tag and call the tournament "The Open," according to The Wall Street Journal.
That might be a tough sell: Many U.S. golf fans and media refer to the U.S. Open as "the open." Seeking to alter a long-established international brand is puzzling. Is it a manifestation of the Scottish separatist movement, or related to Brexit?
NBC, which will broadcast the tournament, had to agree in its contract with the R&A to call the tournament "The Open" during its telecast, the Journal said. The venerable club, which along with the U.S. Golf Association sets the rules of golf, is also asking U.S. newspapers and other broadcast networks to make the change.
The old tournament has one strong claim to exclusive use of "the open" moniker: It began in 1860, 35 years before the Americans began their open.
No matter what it's called, the tournament gives U.S. golf fans a breakfast-hour glimpse of a different type of golf. Like other Open venues, Royal Birkdale is a links course, with few trees and where wind and rain often come into play. The less manicured fairways and greens take the game back to its Scottish origins.
The tournament will have extra significance this year. It will be the first Open played since the death of Arnold Palmer last September. Palmer won his first Open title in 1962 at Royal Birkdale, and his appearance in the tournament in 1960 at St. Andrews is credited with reviving American interest tournament and restoring its global stature.
Early Sunday afternoon, fans around the world will witness one of the great moments of sports, when the winner is crowned "the champion golfer of the year."