Final Round Open Championship Clippings, Vol. 2

openlogo.jpgA few more items I didn't pick up last night worth your time.

Scott Michaux says "it's impossible to feel sorrier for Garcia than Garcia feels for himself."

Jim McCabe thinks Sergio's post round complaints about the slow bunker raking at 18 were "petulant."  Of course, it didn't help that the raker paused to wave to the crowd after completing the second bunker!

 Ewan Murray and Lawrence Donegan catch up with Bob Torrance, Padraig Harrington's longtime teacher.

John Huggan on Andres Romero's round:

The statistics are startling. Romero, a 26-year-old Argentinian in only his second full season on the European Tour, made 10 birdies, two bogeys, two double bogeys and only four pars in 18 holes of topsy-turvy golf that will live long in the memory. Remarkably, until he agonisingly made the second of those bogeys at the final hole, he had recorded neither a par nor a bogey on the back nine. His last par figure of the day came on the 7th.

Brian Hewitt sheds more light on Padraig's work habits.

This unbylined BBC report quotes Peter Dawson as saying that Carnoustie is firmly in the Open rota (and miraculously, Dawson's next sentence did not totally contradict his previous statement!)

And he also commented on the drug issue...

"Let me say first of all that it is very easy to say that people may be taking drugs and that no-one can refute a statement like that," said Dawson.

"But there is absolutely no evidence or anything for these remarks in the game and I think most of the top players in the game today have backed that view."

Amazing they have such wisdom without testing!

Owen Slot features Dick Pounds's quotes from his BBC appearance.

“The PGA has resisted any acknowledgement that there may be a problem,” Pound said. “We would be happy to sit down and help golf come together with a significant and robust programme. I have said [to the PGA], ‘Look, this is your opportunity to lead, not to be forced to follow, so get on with it. The time is now. “ ‘You should do this while you still have the initiative, rather than being forced into it as the result of a scandal. Then you are going to have the whole of golf regarded with suspicion. Do it now before there’s a big public problem.’ ” The tardiness of the PGA to respond to drugs-testing is in contrast to the European Tour, which is to start testing in the new year.

Pound said that his “suspicion” was that there are professional golfers who are using drugs. “Gary Player says he knows, so that’s fairly powerful medicine from somebody who has only the integrity of the game at heart,” he said.

“It comes from one of the icons of golf who has no particular axe to grind other than to try to maintain the integrity of the sport. It’s a wake-up call that has not come in such stark terms to date from the golf community.”

Asked what he had been told to arouse his suspicions, Pound said: “Some say they know, others say they strongly suspect, but it’s really not the point.”

And finally, Lynn Truss isn't afraid to explain that they are growing a wee bit bored with Americans from the flyover states winning.

Yesterday morning, we winced collectively at the possibility that the event might be won, yet again, by a neat, upright Midwesterner of whom many golf fans had basically never heard. Take nothing away from Stricker’s great third round, of course. Take nothing away from Ben Curtis, from Ohio (winner, 2003, Royal St George’s) or Todd Hamilton, from Illinois (winner, 2004, Royal Troon), either. Whoever wins on the day is self-evidently the best player of the championship and should be respected accordingly.

But it remains true that the event is somehow undermined by every additional obscure, generic-looking, “run that name past me again, squire” champion – all the more so (one regrets to say) if he hails from a flat middle bit of the United States.