Open Championship Friday Reads

openlogo.jpgLawrence Donegan with his Guardian game story, reminds us of Greg Owen's 2005 mix-up:

Alongside Woods on five under was Greg Owen, who 12 months ago characterised the R&A's leadership as a bunch of port-drinking fuddy-duddies after they denied him a spot in the 2005 Open on an entry-form technicality. He was more circumspect yesterday, presumably with one eye on dinner invitations to St Andrews should he play well enough to win. "The R&A run this tournament, it's their tournament and what they say goes," he said.
Richard Williams on the Marty Hackle fashion shows breaking out amongst the players.
The trouser thing is now out of control. In the members' car park at Royal Liverpool yesterday morning, one competitor was showing off his new flares to a colleague: two shades of lichen in a Prince of Wales check, an inverted pleat running up the outside seam of each leg and opening to show a contrasting taupe panel. On the practice green in front of the red-brick clubhouse, another player was modelling a pair of slacks quartered in light and dark blue, like a Boat Race spectator trying to support both sides at once. And all that was before there had been so much as a glimpse of Ian Poulter.
Martin Johnson writes about Monty's rabbit ears.
It was as tense a moment as there has ever been in an Open Championship. One of those occasions where you simply can't bear to look. Colin Montgomerie was poised to launch his tee shot down the par-four third, and away in the distance came the sound of music. It was a nice tune, the Blue Danube to be precise, but when it's coming from a mobile phone while Monty is playing, you tend to wonder whether the owner's next aquaintance with Johann Strauss will be on hospital radio.

Not this time though. Monty swished one down the middle as though he hadn't heard a thing, but then again that's always been the way. He was one under par at the time, having birdied his first hole of the championship, and with Monty the key is in the scoreboard. Approach him after a double bogey and the coroner will lean less towards a verdict of misadventure as suicide.

By the 13th hole, when he had slipped to two over par, the number of people he had required to either keep quiet or make themselves invisible included eight marshals (one of them twice), four spectators, and two BBC buggy drivers. There was one moment when he backed off, and waved his hand at a source of agitation so far away that it could only have been aimed at a lollipop lady in Hoylake High Street.

They talk about golfers being "in the zone", but Monty is quite the opposite after a bogey has just been posted. It was Joyce Wethered, at Sherringham, who holed a crucial putt when a steam engine hurtled by, and when asked afterwards whether she'd considered waiting until peace and quiet had been resumed, replied, "what train?"
Paul Kelso compiles Guardian notes on a lousy change at Birkdale (can the Brits ever find an architect who knows what he's doing!!?!?) and on Barker Davis's Liverpool rant.

Meanwhile, Alan Shipnuck finds Hoylake boring and compares its lack of memorability to Firestone.

Darren Clarke is going to be taking a break for the foreseeable future to be with his ailing wife.

If you didn't see the Golf Channel feature, Doug Ferguson offers a nice print version of Jarrod Lyle's story and the help he got from Robert Allenby.

And finally, The Scotsman's Glenn Gibbons on the Faldo-Woods pairing: 
Like an estranged couple still sharing a one-room flat, Tiger Woods and Nick Faldo yesterday found a way of achieving a semblance of peaceful co-existence.

Even so, the vast acreage of the Royal Liverpool links was not expansive enough to prevent the awkwardness and general discomfort of being in each other's company. This was tolerance enforced by circumstances, as opposed to reconciliation.