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ESPN is lost in golf translation

Tiger Woods of the US plays a shot

Tiger Woods of the US plays a shot from the bunker near the 15th green during a practice round at Royal Liverpool Golf Club prior to the start of the British Open Golf Championship, in Hoylake, England, Saturday, July 12, 2014. The 2014 Open Championship starts on Thursday July 17. (AP Photo/Jon Super) Photo Credit: AP

Stop the first 1,000 American golf fans you see on the street and ask what they call the tournament in Great Britain this week and I’d bet 999 of them would say it’s the British Open.

The other one probably works in Bristol, Conn., where it is always and only “The Open Championship.’’

Yes, I realize that is the official name, and the one commonly used in the U.K. But it is annoying that ESPN insists on using that name on this side of the Atlantic – presumably in part to keep its rights partner happy and in part to sound cool.

It reminds me of then-NBC Sports boss Dick Ebersol’s audacious 2006 decision to rename Turin, Italy (the way we always have said it here) as Torino (the way they always have said it there) for the Winter Olympics.

Why? Pretty much because he thought it sounded better.

To this day NBC announcers - and sometimes those from other networks - call it Torino, and yet for some reason they have not translated Rome to Roma, Venice to Venezia, Florence to Firenze or Naples to Napoli.

Oh, well. Buona fortuna, Tigre!

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