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THE most famous sportsman in the world he might be, but such things count for little at staid Muirfield.
LOCH Lomond hopes to further enhance its status as the outstanding strokeplay tournament on the European Tour by increasing the prize fund to £3million at the Barclays Scottish Open by 2005.
PERHAPS it is a comfort to discover, in this personality-dominated world, that fame is not everything.
ANY master mason who carves the observations of Colin Montgomerie in stone runs the risk of wrenching his working arm constantly reaching for the chisel to make amendments.
AFTER signing off at Loch Lomond with a sparkling 67 for the eight-under-par total of 276, Tom Lehman yesterday rushed to defend his peers against charges of throwing in the towel at major championships whenever Tiger Woods makes a move.
THERE could have been few more popular winners of the £2.2million Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond yesterday than Eduardo Romero. The veteran Argentine golfer picked up the most lucrative cheque of a glittering career, £366,660, and quipped that he was now rich enough to buy his own South American country.
THE week that ended yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the most scintillating major championship in the modern era of professional golf, the 1977 Open Championship. The protagonists that first full week in July were Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. Nicklaus was at the height of his reign as the world’s best player, and acknowledged as the best that ever was; Watson, ten years the junior, was a player on the precipice of greatness.
‘Reminded that his rival had been in bed for hours, Hagen asked the band to play louder’
THERE’S something of a raffish charm about Ernie Els. His loping gait accentuates his already considerable height, the gangly adolescent now grown up. Juggle a ball on a putter? Not a problem. Just one of the boyhood tricks that the former caddy can perform with aplomb.
ONE professes to being nearly there, the other wallows in almost morose reflection that there is considerable effort required yet to haul him from his present fankle. Darren Clarke and Colin Montgomerie were hitched together at Loch Lomond for the third round of the Scottish Open and while the attendant crowds were sizeable enough, the returns were more modest.
THE weather, of course, has been a mixed bag at Loch Lomond these past few days. There was much rain and muckle puddles early on, the bonnie course at one juncture quite threatening to go the way of Atlantis.
THE more the bigger picture is scrutinised, the more appealing the finer details become and on a course that is as picturesque as any, looking beyond the headline-grabbing leaders, it’s the private battle being waged by men like Alastair Forsyth that intrigue. While others eye the Scottish Open title and £366,660 winner’s purse, the Paisley golfer is simply concentrating on scrambling together a score that will guarantee him an outing at his first Open, at Muirfield.
IT HAS to feel a wee bit weird at times. Here you are, only a youngster and already a good enough golfer to play on the world’s toughest tour. All through your short life you have been feted, people constantly telling you how wonderful you are. You’re used to being the best, or at least one of the best.
I GOT my first taste of links golf when I represented the United States in the Walker Cup matches against Great Britain & Ireland back in 1983 at Hoylake. I immediately fell in love with everything about playing by the seaside. I was so intrigued by the history and the atmosphere of it all.
BOB TORRANCE, father of Sam, has been a top golfing coach for 45 years. Among others, he currently works with Padraig Harrington.
JUST in case you haven’t noticed, there is a new man doing well in the world of golf. Already this year he has logged a tie for 14th at The Masters and finished sixth equal at the US Open. Only a final-round 80 at The Players Championship in March derailed the prospect of a top-ten finish. All of which has him currently ranked tenth on the European Tour’s Order of Merit. At the very highest level, this guy is a performer.
DON’T be concerned. That strange squelching noise you can hear coming from the telly isn’t some weird mechanical fault. It is only the increasingly weary looking competitors at the Scottish Open trudging their way over the sodden fairways and rough here at the Loch Lomond Golf and Scuba Club.
JUST as Sandy Lyle was being hoisted back up onto that pedestal it had to happen.