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AS WELL as being the last man to leave Royal St George’s, it emerged yesterday how Ben Curtis, the least fancied major winner in nearly a century, was also the first player to check in at the 132nd Open, five days before the tournament got under way.
THE organisers of the Open championship have applied further pressure on South Ayrshire Council to ensure that Turnberry develops the kind of transport infrastructure that can handle a major tournament in the modern era.
THE 18th hole at Turnberry is to be renamed the Duel in the Sun to commemorate the epic battle between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus over the Ailsa course at the 1977 Open.
BEN Curtis cradled the Claret Jug in Sandwich yesterday after one of the greatest upsets in Open history and stared in wonderment at the sight of his own name engraved alongside Old Tom Morris, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and all the other legends of the ancient game.
YOU may not have heard the name before, but get used to it - Ben Curtis is here to stay.
OF ALL the conclusions to the 132nd Open at Royal St George’s, the last act no-one saw coming was a victory for Ben Curtis. There hasn’t been a fairy story to compare with the emergence of the 26-year-old unknown American in Kent since Cinderella went to the ball and married the prince.
ANYONE who considered Tiger Woods to be a sound investment to regain the Open championship during yesterday’s final round at Royal St George’s could not have been paying attention to the great man’s record in the world’s most prestigious golf tournaments.
ANDREW Oldcorn has never finished so high in an Open Championship, but he would have welcomed the presence of statisticians as readily as disease-carrying parasites after seeing another consistent round discredited on the home straight of the Sandwich links.
NO-ONE can dispute rules are rules, but common sense suggests Mark Roe and Jesper Parnevik should have been competing at Royal St George’s yesterday rather than fretting over what might have been in front of the telly after the pair were disqualified on Saturday for signing the wrong scorecards.
NOBODY with even a superficial acquaintance with Bob Torrance is likely to mistake him for a 17th-century French cardinal, but he is truly the personification of the phrase invented for those clergymen who were, 400 years ago, the power behind the throne.
IN THE midst of a gala of sport, it is not uncommon to be struck by a scene that defines the sheer gravity of the event, ramming home the feeling no image could better illuminate the memory of being there.
PERHAPS the least endearing feature of this Open Championship is the publicity-hungry manner in which local tourist chiefs have sought to exploit one of the course’s more colourful claims to fame. Wandering down to the shores of Sandwich Bay is in danger of becoming like a stroll through a James Bond theme park.
NOT THAT you’d have known it through watching the BBC’s late-night televisual highlights of this 132nd Open Championship, but Alastair Forsyth was in contention for golf’s oldest title during the first two days at Royal St George’s.
THEY may be two of the game’s most eccentric characters, but not even Mark Roe and Jesper Parnevik are entitled to the absent-mindedness of which they were guilty yesterday. Both were disqualified from the Open Championship at Royal St George’s after failing to exchange cards at the start of the third round.
FOR most it happens all too fast; for some it can’t come soon enough. Bill Longmuir, he of Scots descent and former Open glories, will take to the fairways of Turnberry on Thursday with the intention of demonstrating that turning 50 is no bad thing.
THIS is the 12th Open Championship of my professional career and, I have to say, one of the hardest in terms of the conditions. In fact, make that the all-time hardest.
IT WAS the quintuple Open Champion, Australia’s Peter Thomson, who spoke always of Golf’s "necessary third dimension, the element of bounce and roll".