Open 2009: Saltmans at ease as they get used to life in the limelight
IT IS unusual for an older brother to learn from the experience of a younger one, but when Elliot Saltman tees-off on Thursday afternoon at the Open, he will have benefited from the wisdom amassed when Lloyd, three years his junior, competed in such a distinguished manner at the Old Course in 2005.
Elliot was behind the ropes then, but this time will join Lloyd in the thick of it. Even Zack, another – still younger – brother will get a taste of a major. He could easily have made it a remarkable Saltman hat-trick but missed out by just a shot at regional qualifying. He will carry Elliot's bag when his elder brother sets out in two days' time in the company of Kenichi Kuboya of Zimbabwe and Bruce Vaughan from the United States.
Elliot and Lloyd will be on the spot then, but Zack felt the pressure yesterday when asked to assess the strengths and weaknesses of his brothers, who make up almost a quarter of Scotland's nine representatives at Turnberry this week. As far as home hopes go, there is much to thank Midlothian-based parents Jack and Dawn for.
"I think Elliot is a lot more chilled out than Lloyd," opined Zack, as his brothers squirmed beside him. Media interest has been intense since it was discovered that the brothers are the first to play together in an Open since Jumbo and Joe Osaki in 1992, and the trio of Saltmans made an impressive fist of a joint press conference in the main media tent yesterday, with Zack on hand to offer a helpful guide to the character of his brothers. Both Elliot and Lloyd practiced together yesterday, and will do so again this morning.
"Lloyd always plays to the crowd, and likes to be in the spotlight," continued Zack. "Obviously this is Elliot's first time, but he seems to be a lot more chilled out, and is just staying within himself. He's a lot quieter, whereas Lloyd will tell you how he is feeling. You could see it today. After a few holes you could see the crowds getting bigger on the tees, and you could see Lloyd's posture grow a bit. That's the way he is. He just loves the crowd."
Not too long ago, Scots wondered where the next Open winner might come from. Now there are two possible challengers from the same family. The stated ambition of both Saltmans is to finish as high up the leader board as possible come Sunday, but Lloyd displayed a more manifest sense of confidence in himself. This is befitting someone who, when aged just 19, suddenly found himself sitting next to Ernie Els on the Monday of Open week, registering for the greatest golf tournament at the game's most famous venue.
"Anything is possible," Lloyd said, when asked to outline his hopes for the week. "If you get into the weekend, I don't see why you can't be up there come Sunday and be one of the top names on the leaderboard."
Elliot, understandably, is slightly less sure of what to expect, but having recently started working with coach Bob Torrance, is happy with the current state of his game. "Ideally, I just want to make the cut, and if that happens I will try to progress as much as possible," he remarked.
Elliot took notes at St Andrews in 2005, and four years down the line will walk in his brother's footsteps, literally. Making it a long day for the family, Elliot tees off at just before 4pm on Thursday, with Lloyd first out at 10.37am. The latter is itching to re-engage with the Open, having waited too long to reap the benefit of what he learned in 2005.
"That was a dream week," he said of his Old Course experience, which came after he qualified, perhaps, unexpectedly. Those magical days on the Fife coast passed in a whirl. Before he knew it, Lloyd was being hailed for finishing as leading amateur, when he tied for 15th place. "I have used as much as I can of that experience to get to where I am now," he said. "Hopefully it will help me this week."
With media interest already heaped upon them, it is too much to expect that they should also be alert to the need for Scotland to post an improved showing on recent Open performances. Last year, just four started in the field at Royal Hoylake, only one of whom, Colin Montgomerie, made the cut. The numbers are greater this year, but the home of golf still lacks a presence in the current top 100 in the world rankings. "On a personal note for myself and Elliot, it is nice to be representing Scotland in the Open Championship," said Lloyd. "But, to be honest, the kind of people we are means we put pressure on ourselves anyway."
The brothers have a considerable support group. The whole family – including the boys' girlfriends – will be together at night in a house rented on the fringes of the course. There they will retreat to an environment which is as close to home as they can make it, with their mother providing the cooking. "We are a close family, and always have been," said Lloyd. "We were together in 2005 in the Open and we are together this week."
Thursday and Friday (Gbr & Irl unless stated; *amateurs)
Starting at hole 1
0630 & 1141: Michael Campbell (NZ), Paul Broadhurst, Mark Calcavecchia (US)
0641 & 1152: Jeff Overton (US), Pablo Larrazabal (Spa), Gary Orr
0652 & 1203: Anthony Wall, Rory Sabbatini (SA), Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind)
0703 & 1214: Nick Watney (US), Graeme Storm, Charl Schwartzel (SA)
0714 & 1225: Rafael Echenique (Arg), Richard Finch, Mark O'Meara (US)
0725 & 1236: Nick Dougherty, David Duval (US), Adam Scott (Aus)
0736 & 1247: Kenny Perry (US), Greg Norman (Aus), Oliver Wilson
0747 & 1258: Henrik Stenson (Swe), Steve Stricker (US), Wen-chong Liang (Chn)
0758 & 1309: Tom Watson (US), Sergio Garcia (Spa), *Metteo Manassero (Ita)
0809 & 1320: Peter Hanson (Swe), Dustin Johnson (US), Louis Oosthuizen (SA)
0820 & 1331: Vijay Singh (Fij), Bubba Watson (US), Graeme McDowell
0831 & 1342: Camilo Villegas (Col), Yuta Ikeda (Jpn), Sean O'Hair (US)
0842 & 1353: Azuma Yano (Jpn), Luke Donald, Darren Clarke
0858 & 1409: Justin Leonard (US), Robert Allenby (Aus), Anders Hansen (Den)
0909 & 1420: Tiger Woods (US), Lee Westwood, Ryo Ishikawa (Jpn)
0920 & 1431: Richard Green (Aus), Chad Campbell (US), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa)
0931 & 1442: David Howell, Stewart Cink (US), Thongchai Jaidee (Tha)
0942 & 1453: Raphael Jacquelin (Fra), Ken Duke (US), Mathew Goggin (Aus)
0953 & 1504: Briny Baird (US), Mark Brown (NZ), Johan Edfors (Swe)
1004 & 1515: D J Trahan (US), Prayad Marksaeng (Tha), Markus Brier (Aut)
1015 & 1526: Chris Wood, Boo Weekley (US), Rodney Pampling (Aus)
1026 & 1537: Jaco Ahlers (SA), Bryce Molder (US), Richie Ramsay
1037 & 1548: Billy Mayfair (US), Marc Cayeux (Zim), Lloyd Saltman
1048 & 1559: Robert Rock, Martin Laird, Ben Crane (US)
1059 & 1610: Branden Grace (SA), Thomas Haylock, Brandt Snedeker (US)
1110 & 1621: Michael Wright (Aus), Daniel Wardrop, Peter Ellebye (Den)
1141 & 0630: Tim Stewart (Aus), Damien McGrane, Matt Kuchar (US)
1152 & 0641: David Higgins, Jeremy Kavanagh, Daniel Gaunt (Aus)
1203 & 0652: Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind), Rhys Davies, James Driscoll (US)
1214 & 0703: Alvaro Quiros (Spa), Sandy Lyle, Steve Marino (US)
1225 & 0714: Nick Faldo, Soren Kjeldsen (Den), Brian Gay (US)
1236 & 0725: Ben Curtis (US), Mike Weir (Can), Ross Fisher
1247 & 0736: Stephen Ames (Can), Tim Clark (SA), Charles Howell III (US)
1258 & 0747: Ernie Els (SA), Lucas Glover (US), Martin Kaymer (Ger)
1309 & 0758: Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan (US), Andres Romero (Arg)
1320 & 0809: Colin Montgomerie, Zach Johnson (US), K J Choi (Kor)
1331 & 0820: Rory McIlroy, Anthony Kim (US), Retief Goosen (SA)
1342 & 0831: Todd Hamilton (US), Soren Hansen (Den), Tomohiro Kondo (Jpn)
1353 & 0842: Ian Poulter, J B Holmes (US), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa)
1409 & 0858: Paul Casey, Ryuji Imada (Jpn), Angel Cabrera (Arg)
1420 & 0909: Padraig Harrington, Jim Furyk (US), Geoff Ogilvy (Aus)
1431 & 0920: Paul Lawrie, Davis Love III (US), Stuart Appleby (Aus)
1442 & 0931: Paul McGinley, Carl Pettersson (Swe), John Daly (US)
1453 & 0942: *Stephan Gross (Ger), David Toms (US), Tom Lehman (US)
1504 & 0953: James Kingston (SA), Charley Hoffman (US), Fredrik Jacobson (Swe)
1515 & 1004: Paul Goydos (US), Francesco Molinari (Ita), Richard Sterne (SA)
1526 & 1015: Thomas Levet (Fra), Richard S Johnson (Swe), Kevin Sutherland (US)
1537 & 1026: Thomas Aiken (SA), Peter Hedblom (Swe), Peter Baker
1548 & 1037: Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe), Josh Geary (NZ), David Drysdale
1559 & 1048: Kenichi Kuboya (Jpn), Bruce Vaughan (US), Elliot Saltman
1610 & 1059: Timothy Wood (Aus), David Smail (NZ), Oliver Fisher
1621 & 1110: Terry Pilkadaris (Aus), Steve Surry, Koumei Oda (Jpn)
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Tuesday 18 June 2013
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