Playing golf as a junior girl in the India of the (very) early nineties meant playing with the boys. It also meant little or no access to any information about women's golf in the rest of the world. Consequently, when we'd practice putting, the mantra that would go through our collective little heads was "this five footer is to win The Open Championship." Not the US Open, The Masters or the PGA - always simply, The Open.
Needless to say, I never did get an opportunity to make that winning putt, but, as I grew up, the dream itself evolved. I stopped playing competitively and started refereeing. Now the Holy Grail was to be invited to referee at The Open. Again, not the US Open, The Masters or the PGA - simply, The Open. (Also Read: Rory McIlroy's British Open Winning Ball Sold for Rs 3 Lakh at Auction)
I arrived at Hoylake on the Monday before the tournament and as I picked up my credentials, it took every bit of self-control I possessed to not awaken the ghosts of the stately Thornton Hall Hotel by shrieking giddily "I'm here! I'm here!"