Friday's Open Championship Clippings

openlogo.jpgDoug Ferguson's round 1 game story on Sergio Garcia's impressive course record 65. And for the UK perspective, here's Lawrence Donegan's take for The Guardian.

Alan Shipnuck offers a decent reason not to root for Sergio.

0719_mcillroy.jpgPaul Kelso tells us more about 18-year-old Rory McIlroy, who beat Tiger Woods.

McIlroy's talent has been an open secret in Northern Ireland for some years and he has been nurtured by support from the Sports Council and the Irish Golf Union, who have funded his career worldwide since he left school aged 16 with "a few" GCSEs.

He resisted the lure of travelling to America to complete his golf education in the university system - "I didn't really fancy the school part," he conceded - preferring to stay within the amateur fold in Europe and take up the occasional invitation to professional events.
My kinda kid!

Tan, rested and ready, embattled Carnoustie greenkeeper John Philp finally spoke to a media member and of course, sounds like he really wishes the course was a whole lot tougher, like '99.  Graham Spiers was the lucky inkslinger:
“There’s no doubt the course is easier,” Philp said. “There is no longer the intimidation factor on the tee for the players because the fairways are wider and the rough isn’t as dense. This time, the players can definitely feel more comfy on the tee. The course is not as fearsome.”
And that's a good thing, right John? I guess not if your ego is all tied up in a high winning score.


Tony Jimenez reports that Retief Goosen didn't take kindly to Gary Player's performance enhancing drug accusations... 

"I don't know what Gary was trying to prove," the world number 11 told reporters after launching his British Open challenge with a one-under-par 70 on Thursday. "I am very shocked at his comments.

"I don't know why he said that. I don't know if he is trying to damage the sport. If he wants to come and make these comments, why doesn't he name them?"

And of course if Player named names, he's be roasted even more!

mont.jpgAllan Patullo on Monty's grumpy (I know, shocking) post round demeanor.

No wonder he slammed his putter into his bag at the 18th. There was little surprise, too, when he by-passed reporters afterwards and headed instead for the putting green. Seasoned Monty watchers had seen this movie before, one that might be titled The Changeling.

But it doesn't look like he'll be brandishing a winner's cheque on Sunday, and nor is it likely that Monty the showman will be appearing in front of reporters any time soon. He gave us 3,677 words on Wednesday - golf is the sort of sport where such things are recorded - but we should have known some of these should have been kept for a rainy day.

And Lynne Truss of all people offers Monty a putting tip.

Claire Middleton tracked Ian Poulter down for a fashion compliment and got a revealing reply:

Poulter is usually one of the brightest fellows to follow on the course, but last year's Liberace sequins have been replaced by a more mellow olive check - which sounds pretty revolting, but is actually very smart.

He cheered up a bit when the Diary (feeling a bit blown away by the tirade above) mentioned this. "The clothing is a business and if you think it's smart, that's lovely," he said.

And here I thought he dressed like that because he actually liked wearing pink pants. 

Finally, John Huggan talked to Paul Casey about Nick Faldo's remarks that players need to be less chummy. Huggan picked up this SI "They Said It" worthy quote:

"The friendship obviously works well in team matches," said Casey. "But I know a lot of the guys who are friendly when they want to be friendly but can still be extreme competitors. I mean, Geoff Ogilvy is a good pal of mine and I took a lot from his US Open win last year. It hasn't paid off yet, but I've watched and learned. I think I'm as good as him. I don't go around saying it, but I think it a lot."

Uh Paul, you just went around saying it.