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Clarke hoping to repeat Sandwich miracle

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Iain Carter | 07:31 UK time, Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Darren Clarke is living proof that anything could happen in this week's Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

Twelve months ago, the Northern Ireland star turned up for his 20th crack at trying to land the game's oldest and most prestigious title. He was a 150-1 shot and his spirits were low after a poor finish at the previous week's Scottish Open.

Clarke had started the spring of 2011 with victory in the Iberdrola Open, but in the five tournaments that followed he failed to make the top 40 and was a miserable 66th at Castle Stuart.

"I was hitting the ball well but not scoring particularly well," Clarke recalled. He arrived at Royal St George's probably more in hope than expectation and promptly set about curing his ills on the greens.

He more than succeeded in that regard and famously by the end of the week was striding the closing hole to tumultuous applause that greeted his hugely popular victory.

Commentating for BBC Radio 5 live, I walked every step of a final round that was a textbook example of golfing craftsmanship as Clarke found the way to ride the elements to glory.

Darren Clarke wins the 2011 Open Championship at Sandwich (Getty Images)

Darren Clarke celebrates his 2011 Open Championship win at Sandwich. Photo: Getty

In the wind and rain that battered the Kent coast that day, it was a rare privilege to witness the adulation and fervour generated by the Ryder Cup hero's win. The serenity he summoned for the final round set him apart from the field.

We had long since known that such talent lay within the burly frame of this son of Northern Ireland, but often his temperament had been doubted.

He also had to cope with the demands of becoming a single dad after the death of his wife Heather five years earlier.

In every dimension this was a classic sporting fairytale of a man who at the age of 42 must have wondered whether his career would pass by without such a moment of golfing fulfilment.

But Clarke's Open triumph hasn't proved the launchpad to any form of golfing domination. Quite the contrary because the past 12 months have been a complete anti-climax and he has not come close to landing another victory.

"It's been a much better year off the golf course than on the golf course," Clarke said. "But I wouldn't change anything."

When he began Open week by driving into the Lytham car park to be greeted by R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson on a wet Monday morning, there was an annual tradition to be performed.

Clarke handed back the famous Claret Jug to the man who had announced his victory at last year's presentation ceremony.

"Not quite in as good a condition as I received it in," Clarke admitted. "But Mr Dawson looked at it and said 'oh we can fix this and fix that. So it's not too bad.'"

But can the Clarke game be fixed in time for a successful defence? The adverse weather forecast might help, because he revels in the rain, and so may a release of pressure because he no longer holds the Claret Jug.

"I've certainly fallen into a little bit of a trap of trying to play better and trying too hard as opposed to just going and playing," Clarke said when it was put to him that becoming Open Champion had made it harder to compete.

"I was of the mentality that I've got to go out and play like the Open Champion, instead of just playing the way that I did in the first place. I got a little caught up and tried too hard. Unfortunately that's the nature of our game."

The trophy may have been returned but the memories remain vivid and they might just inspire another huge upset. Just as he was last year, Clarke is a 150-1 shot here on the Lancashire coast.

And if further evidence was required that the golfing gods remain in rude health, it has surely come from the veterans' circuit where Roger Chapman has just landed his second major in six weeks.

The PGA Seniors winner is now the Seniors US Open champion, having held off the likes of Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin and Fred Funk in the final round.

Not bad for a self-confessed journeyman whose only European Tour victory came in Brazil.

Those gods, busy in Detroit last week, were at work at Sandwich a year ago. What do they have in store for Lytham this week? Anything is possible.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Paul Lawrie, Martin Laird, Lee Slattery, Ross Fisher..... why not?

  • Comment number 2.

    first comment heroics.

  • Comment number 3.

    Garcia is my tipple for the week. When he first played at Lytham when he was 19 he shot 89 and 83 I think, so its revenge time.

    He has a great drive, his ball striking is amazing, if he can putt half decent hes a chance

  • Comment number 4.

    Another blog, another missed opportunity Iain, if a shock could happen, how could deliver it?? I don't believe it will be a three figure priced winner this year, but still someone outside the front four in the betting, and it'll be Dustin Johnson

  • Comment number 5.

    Has anyone on here played at Lytham?

  • Comment number 6.

    has anyone on here played at Lytham? What is the course like ?

    there was a score saver with the Golfers monthly or whatever the father in law gets every month - is the 1st hole a par 3?

  • Comment number 7.

    1st Hole par 3 which is pretty unique in championship golf i'd have thought. I certainly cant think of one.

    I have to admit one of my bets for the Week is Dustin J, He has the game to challenge for a major, because he's done it before on 3 occasions, does he have the mentailty to win, Abberations in final rounds in the past and a poor performance in the pressure cooker of a Ryder Cup suggest the jury is still out in that respect.

    In terms of a fairytale win, i cant think its possible for a greater one than last year, maybe Lee to finally do it? Or a spaniard at the home of 2 of Seve's Triumphs?

  • Comment number 8.

    And before anyone asks, Prediction update will be later today. 3 Picks as usual but as its a major its double points.

  • Comment number 9.

    Really hope we dont get a complete outsider and a "one hit wonder" winning this weeks open!! Would love to see a few of our top golfers slug it out over this tough course. Gmac is my pick.. plays links courses superbly.

  • Comment number 10.

    Speaking to people who have played the course in the last month or two, if there is a breath of wind, I am led to believe the course will become close to unplayable. The fairways were supposed to get even more bare, and straying off them is a serious punishment. Expect very, very high scores, a winner being whoever avoids blowing up for four days.

  • Comment number 11.

    The fairytale the US press will want is a TW win im sure, you can see the healines now can't you....

    I think Garcia would be a great fairytale after his woes as a 19 year old here

    Tom Watson winning again could be another great fairytale though his chance a couple of years ago surely cant be repeated again?

    Westwood to win it I don't think would be a "fairytale" in the same way Darren's was because it was so unexpected, whereas we are expecting Lee to win a major

    Tom Lewis as a fairytale.....?

    I think anyone in the worlds top 100 has the ability to win a major on a given week of playing to their full potential, but whether they have the mental capacity is another thing

    do you think part of the reason we have had so many different major winners is because the best players int he world who we are expecting to win are under too much mental pressure and can't cope?? Luke Donald admitted this last week that he has to overcome that mental pressure, whereas those who are not expected to win or are not hyped up to win have no real pressure other than what they put onthemselves? Mcilroy at the US open I suppose would be the exception, but in general are the big guns pressurising themselves out of contention???

  • Comment number 12.

    Its strange how the Open Championship throws up some "high odds" winners and you cannot rule it out again this year too however I have a sneaking suspicion one of the big boys is going to do it, namely a Mr Tiger Woods. Whoever wins lets hope for some real drama and theatre coming down the stretch on Sunday afternoon and another memorable Open Championship.

  • Comment number 13.

    Padraig's not won it for a while :) and has been showing a few signs of improved form - sadly the bookies have taken note and he's only about 18/1.

    My own three-figured outsider might be Robert Rock, also at 150/1.

  • Comment number 14.

    Not the best of blogs, no chance Darren Clarke even making the cut, last year was pure fluke and i wouldnt be suprised to see Darren Clarke at +15 after the first 2 rounds

  • Comment number 15.

    Its gotta be Tiger. Someone needs to put all these recent one-major wonders in their place and Tiger's the man to do it.

    Woohoo, go Tiger! Get in the hole!

  • Comment number 16.

    jimmy...i'm a newbie to the prediction game...can i play?...i'll take mickelson, els, oosthuizen...thanks

  • Comment number 17.

    ps would have liked to have been patriotic and included a compatriot in my 3 picks but i can't forgive francesco for that pathetic effort to sink a [potentially] winning putt on the first play-off hole on sunday...he left a whole bunch of putts 12-18 inches short during his final round...a sure sign of a nervous putter, scared of the return 3-footer...never up never in!

    ...i remember listening to an interview with brad faxon and, when asked "why are you so bold with your approach putts" his answer was "because i know i can't miss from 3 feet!"...now THAT'S confidence

  • Comment number 18.

    I hear Tiger's whinging something rotten about the rough and it being unplayable. Surely the simple answer is to treat it like you would a water hazard and keep the heck away from it or it Tiger's driving so wild that he feels he should be allowed to play his second shot from anywhere on the course?

  • Comment number 19.

    I think the key will be putting and as always with the open the draw will have an affect as will the weather.

    I think Graeme McDowell will be hard to beat, but think people like Kuchar and Stricker will be in the mix.

    Rory will be ok, but i think Michael Hoey will do very well and i'd expect him to have a top 20 finish in his first pro major.

    It's an open competition and there will be a few surprise names up there, anyone can play out of their skin for a week.

    Darren's win wasn't a fluke, he played the best golf of the week, you can't fluke winning a golf tournament - it was unexpected though - i'll grant you that - but as a northern irishmen another great day for us on the links!!

  • Comment number 20.

    @18, i thought Tiger had re-built his swing, so his driving can't be that bad?

    In any case, rough is not meant to be unplayable, water is. Otherwise they could just replace all the rough with water.

    Tiger's right to have a whinge if the rough is so bad you cant even hack the ball out.

  • Comment number 21.

    oh dear scarborough...i got pasted for making a comment like that yesterday...i hope they're more gentle on you than they were on me!

  • Comment number 22.

    Tiger isn't the only one complaining about the rough, it's just he's the biggest name in golf and takes most of the coverage (rightly or wrongly) so his views are always going to be projected.

    Tiger has been a lot better this year off the tee and i'm sure someone can put the stats up to show that.

    I also think that he won't use drivers everywhere, to ensure he hits fairways and misses bunkers.

    Tiger is also not the only one who sprays it - Mickelson, McIlroy - Seve used to be woeful of the tee but a genius after that - hence why he was playing from a car park!! Unless of course they built car parks in the middle of fairways, back in the day!

  • Comment number 23.

    #11 - Lewis more a miracle than fairy tale .... he didn't qualify!!

    Jiminez had his best round on Sunday last week, as the conditions got tougher...

  • Comment number 24.

    # 18

    If you read what he actually said and not part quotes from media sources, you would know that TW said as it stood on his practice round SOME of the rough was nion impossible to play from, but the set up of the course was very fair

    also take note that when the crowds gather the rough will be trampled in many places

    Also if you check the PGA tour stats TW's driving is one of the best. But he wont have driver out it will be 2 iron and 3 wood, he hits those two clubs as far as some hit driver, why the vitriol for not hitting driver off every tee??

  • Comment number 25.

    TW is ranked 5th in combined driving stats on PGA tour this year.

    Driving stats only take into consideration shots where he took Driver, so you can't complain his 2 irons and 3 woods dilute the stats because they are not taken into account

    one could however suggest he only takes driver on holes with wider fairways??

    even still, he will play to his strengths and if that means utilising his power by not having to take driver all the time then good for him


    ***ONE VERY INTERESTING SET OF STATS***

    98th in sand saves %

    127th in GIR from fairway bunker %


    futher reason for him to be more accurate from the tee and fairways to avoid those bunkers...........

  • Comment number 26.

    i played Lytham about 3 months ago, it was a lovely day but it was still very tough. I can imagine if the wind blows we'll see some high scores. When i played it all 4 of us are single handicappers and 2 lads were in the 90's and they didnt play too bad! The greens were outstanding. regarding the rough, i cant remember it being particulary punishing, it must have grown a lot the last few months. I was in it 4/5 times and i was able to hack out okay. Saying that i had no hope of hitting the green once i was in it so it was costing me a stoke everytime.

  • Comment number 27.

    with only 2 par 5's - both playing a shade under 600 yards - Tiger is going to have pull the driver sometimes and he just doesn't seem to trust it. Unlike some other Open tracks where bunkers are placed 275-320 yards off the tee, Lytham has them everywhere, so laying up is not as starightforward as say Hoylake or St Andrews

  • Comment number 28.

    after my bigging up of Garcia because he drives the ball well;

    126th in combined driving stats :( with 103rd in driving accuracy

    isnt it funny how we have a certain perception of a player and then when you look at the nitty gritty of the stats it proves us wrong!!

    Garcia lauded as a poor putter is ranked 18th on tour this season


    who would have thought the above would be true!!

  • Comment number 29.

    Re comment 11. I like the idea of Tom Lewis winning as he is not playing. Is that what you mean by "fairytale"???

  • Comment number 30.

    #23 & #29

    my mistake, red cheeks hiding behind the computer screen on that one.......

  • Comment number 31.

    2IK - Yes you can join the predictions, anyone can, Its not a closed league by Any means, Its a case of if you type your predictions on a Carter blog (In Time) then they will be registered.

    I hope you aren't saying that i was being rough on you yesterday (Geddit Rough.... sorry i know that was terrible) As i said at the time i dont know whether his tone of voice etc, implied criticism of the rough. I dont believe his words alone do.

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    #28 - thats stats for you! Westwood, one of the straightest drivers on tour? He's currently ranked 96th in driving accuracy on the european tour. But if my life depended on someone finding the short stuff he'd still be my first choice...

  • Comment number 34.

    Y_B - Whilst your cheeks are a little red, Garcia shot his 89, 83 at Carnoustie.

    Do you fall into the camp that believes the old cliche "stats never lie" as opposed to the completly contradictory cliche of there being "lies, damned lies and statistics".

    I think you can probably look up stats to try and prove anything you want if you look hard enough

  • Comment number 35.

    # 33

    Stats are Facts! But I do know what you mean.

    If my life depended on it Id ask Graham Edwards to tee it up with the putter and give it a crack - his driving accuracy with the putter must be in the high 90's.....

  • Comment number 36.

    Jimmy I had mis-read Rob Hodgetts blog piece - cheeks are now cooking my omlette for lunch......

    As for the stats cliche's, I do absolutely agree you could get a stat to back up most arguments, however I was genuinely shocked to see how bad Sergio's stats were, I wasn't necessarily expecting him to be top 5 but top outside the top 100???

    Stats can certainly mask the truth but they can never lie..... in my humble red cheeked opinion

  • Comment number 37.

    If people read Tiger's full comments, he has said some parts of the rough are unplayable, but he has said he likes the way the course is set and think it provides a fair test, it's hardly criticism, he is merely stating the facts about the state of the rough, at times the media and fans alike get tunnel vision with comments from Tiger and instantly assume he is moaning when in this case he isn't

  • Comment number 38.

    #37 - Garcia is ranked 28th in stroke average, so his misses are not too destructive. Luke seems to have a big miss in his game at the moment and if the rough is as punishing as we're told, his short game skills will struggle to save him

  • Comment number 39.

    Robert Rock is the best ball striker in the field.

  • Comment number 40.

    Brian Davis not playing Bilo?

  • Comment number 41.

    Is it just me or is Michael Sausage an extremely arrogant individual? "Not the best of blogs" - is this Sausage man the blogmarker?

    Darren Clarke has no hope? Well, of course he has a hope - the evidence for that is very simple. 1. He is in the field. 2. He has shown before that he can do it.

    As for my picks, I have a feeling for Mickelson and Graeme McDowell.

  • Comment number 42.

    With rough like that you need straight drivers. Westwood, Garcia, Donald or even Woods if he perseveres with his 2 iron "stinger". Westwood might be carrying an injury. Donald seems to have a dip in confidence, Garcia if he manages to have a decent first two rounds might be a good each way bet.

  • Comment number 43.

    David Duval!

  • Comment number 44.

    Who knows best?

  • Comment number 45.

    # 39

    I would have to disagree and say Tom Lewis is the best ball striker in the field.......

  • Comment number 46.

    I think anyone could win this week. I think Padraig Harrington will have a good run and Lee Westwood will be there or thereabouts as always. But there could be a shock, players like Paul Lawrie, Raphael Jacquelin, Alexander Noren may well mount a challenge; I think the winner will come from the European Tour.

    http://jedidiahgore.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/golfing-big-guns-warming-up-for-open-at.html?showComment=1342502032969

  • Comment number 47.

    I hope that MattEFC doesnt try and put his opinion forward about the Open, i'm sick of hearing his Dribble and Tripe now about how good Tiger Woods is and how he is going to win every tournament and how he is going to do this and do that. I have stayed off the blog now for a while just for this case! I have still been reading and everything that comes out his mouth is about Tiger Woods! Fair enough we all have our favorite golfers but this lad is acting like some big kid who cant see past his hero! Lets have some genuine golf input off you MattEFC and lees of the Tiger trash, its beginning to bore me now!!

  • Comment number 48.

    Back to golf........ I like the open and its a chance to see the Americans tackle a good old British Links course, i cant wait to See Bubba Watson and how he handles these sort of conditions and course. We also get chance to see The Irish show people how a Links course is meant to be played!!
    My players to watch out for are.........
    Harrington
    Mcdowell
    Kaymer
    Els

  • Comment number 49.

    With bad weather predicted we may yet again see a masterclass from a certain Mr Watson!!

  • Comment number 50.

    21.
    At 11:02 17th Jul 2012, the2ironkid wrote:


    oh dear scarborough...i got pasted for making a comment like that yesterday...i hope they're more gentle on you than they were on me!
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    They're obviously in a more forgiving mood today. However, surely if Tiger's driving is so much better than the vast majority of the field he'd want the rough like the Amazon jungle so that his most wayward comptitors are punished to the full?

    Finally, can I make a plea to all those taking part that, if their drives are wild, can they at least look after the general public and do them the courtesy of shouting "Fore"? Signed gloves aren't much good to you if you're in hospital with a serious head trauma. Thank you.

  • Comment number 51.

    The winner is going to be the person who gets the best of the weather, irrespective of his ranking.

  • Comment number 52.

    @41 Golf_Geezer....mickysausage is a bit of a God of this blog so he appears arrogant sometimes. He's a proper Legend though.

    We badly need to hear from daveyboyfletcher, cfcboy23, maninasuitcase and dennerslad.

  • Comment number 53.

    Interesting fact (to some) is I was playing at Lytham the day Sergio shot his 89 at Carnoustie. We watched it all unravel for him in the clubhouse after our round. As it was 1999 and the course has been lengthened since I don't think I can help any more than Bilo has.
    Whilst Tiger may or may not have whined about the rough, he's a professional golfer so he's not someone I have any sympathy for. The devil in me hopes he misses the cut but to be honest I hope he's there on Sunday so one the English boys says I won the Open and beat TW!
    Keith - that was for you... see what I did there!

  • Comment number 54.

    This is called The Open because it is open to to anyone to play through qualification exemption etc, therefore in theory anyone can win. IMHO I can't see a bomber winning as this will bring in the much criticised rough and the many many bunkers. A straight hitter, Lee and Gmac in particular or someone who has been there, done it and wears the T shirt will win. Don't expect to see a driver in the hand of the GOAT. He will sting his way round, not visit a bunker and THE TIGER will win by 5.

  • Comment number 55.

    This will be a long and winding road for all the players and I hope I will get satisfaction by watching the best play a great course. Seve of course was neither the longest or the straightest but he did triumph here. I will never forget the shot from under the bonnet of the brown cortina to set up his birdie. Perhaps Sergio will take inspiration and this will help him to his first big one.

  • Comment number 56.

    #55... you just had to go there, didn't you! Back to therapy for me...

  • Comment number 57.

    Golf has become the complete opposite to Tennis. Pretty much anyone in the field can win this week, in fact anybody has a chance, remember Tom Watson a couple of years ago. In Tennis certain players clearly have no chance whatsoever. Perhaps this is partly to do with the fitness of the players, in golf fitness does not mean that much over the course of 4 rounds. After all, its just a walk in the park. Would it better to see the best players coming through each major, I think it would. But the randomness of golf means you can't guarantee anything these days. Sandy Lyle to win, sorry I mean walk off the course complaining its too tough.

  • Comment number 58.

    Justin Rose is paired with Tiger Woods for the FOURTH time. What are the R and A playing at? To be paired with him once is unfortunate; twice, to quote Oscar Wilde, looks like carelessness; three times is an issue; four times is quite honestly a disgrace. I remember following Rose (with Woods) at Carnoustie in 1997, and all the crowd noise, distractions, people rushing to the next tee after Woods had putted out whilst Rose was still left with a four footer, must have cost him shots over the two days. Rose, after his WGC victory, and with his consistent form, was my tip for Lytham - not any more.

  • Comment number 59.

    Wow this has gone quick. I wanted toi get an early post on here, but found myself without inspiration. I just needed something to start me up.

    Anyway here I am and would like to say it would indeed be a fairytake if Garcia won to exorcise the ghost of his 89 / 83 start as a 19 year old. Because that was at Carnoustie. I'm sure someone has noted that by now anyway.

  • Comment number 60.

    #58 - it reminds me of my post round pints of guiness: one pint is just about alright, two pints is getting on for too much, three pints is nowhere near enough

  • Comment number 61.

    Apparently on course reporter David Fletcher reported that Bubba stormed off the course in a huff not stopping to sign Autographs, He was furious and his face was Ruby. Tuesday was always forecast to be a miserable day and perhaps the weather got the better of him.

  • Comment number 62.

    Jimmy - "Its a case of if you type your predictions on a Carter blog (In Time)"

    Was that really necessary? I mean who in their right mind would expect to be awarded points if they made their picks AFTER the tournament had started?

    Apparently the prices are ridiculous at the Open - 4 quid for a sausage sarnie and over two quid for a coffee with brown suger!

  • Comment number 63.

    cfcboy, I really don't think Tiger made the comment about the rough for sympathy, he was asked a question about and gave moreorless the same answer as Darren Clarke, I don't see the need for getting on Tiger's back, he is far from the model sports man, that we know, but he is still the best in the business on his day

  • Comment number 64.

    The winner will undoubtedly be a good long iron player, like woods or davis love 'one hundred and eleven' (as Alliss called him). Not many people can hit long irons really well, but friend of mine can. He has an old one iron with a steel shaft. For some reason he decided to paint it black. Not sure why - to look like graphite maybe?

  • Comment number 65.

    LD, LW and RM to miss the cut.

  • Comment number 66.

    I think with the rough being particularly long the key to driving the ball well will be keeping it low. If you get the ball running then it should get held up in the first cut. Is the deepest parts of the rough being virtually unplayable a bad thing? I'd say not, those players complaining should just realise that you cant always get what you want.

    Hopefully though i'll get what i want, which is to see one of the top Europeans take home the Title, twice in a row Lytham has served up an American winner, both deserving but not the outcomes we hoped for. The course hasnt served up a winner from this side of the pond since the days of Maggie, may that change this week? Lets hope so.

  • Comment number 67.

    When he began Open week by driving into the Lytham car park

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sounds like one of my drives!

  • Comment number 68.

    That rough looks hectic. It's enough to make a grown man cry.

    Keith - this is way too difficult. Can we either expand the category a little, or perhaps go back to last week's theme?

  • Comment number 69.

    My three Open predictions:
    Jeev Milkha Singh, Tiger Woods, Angel Cabrera.

    I also fancy F Molinari, Duval and Els.

    Are we doing predictions for the True South Classic as well?

  • Comment number 70.

    Sorry Carl but wild horses would not drag a TW complement from my lips!

  • Comment number 71.

    LOL! I just love the English. When TW gives his "standard" interview, they complain about him being a robot, lacking in character, etc. Luke Donald and Lee Westwood are both "refreshingly honest".

    When TW comments about the course truthfully, he is said to be lamenting and complaining and whatnot. Leave it to the English to pick a tiny part of a person's statement, then put it totally out of context.

    Absolutely brilliant :)

  • Comment number 72.

    Some feisty commentary from Westwood today. Also praised himself for his evening practise - 'genius' apparently as he got the course to himself. Hopefully he is finding some form undercover of the night (cough).
    Also appears he is looking to draw the ball not fade. Away from the course he looks very relaxed as TJ suggested!

  • Comment number 73.

    #70,
    So very telling. It perfectly illustrates your nature :)

  • Comment number 74.

    Anyone remember my "Duel in the Sun"?

  • Comment number 75.

    #73... indeed - beyond your understanding, evidently!

  • Comment number 76.

    cfcboy, are you anti-rory then as well?

  • Comment number 77.

    BBCFan - don't know where you get your idea about fitness. They may not all be slim Jims but none of them come off the course Shattered, or suffering the Ventilator Blues. It may be Just my Imagination but I think they could go around and around a golf course several times these days. They do it in the Matchplay and the Ryder Cup without having a 19th nervous breakdown.

    On the subject of the Blog DC may have no expectations and lots of mixed emotions but i really expect that he will not fade away during this chapionship. Remember that the last time he turned up for the open he was really shattered with his run of poor form but Norn Irn's prodigal son ended up going home with the trophy. No-one expected Harrington to retain the loving cup either but that was their biggest mistake as it was a case of 'oh no, not you again'.

    Some things just stick in your mind and DCs memory of last year may be one of those and, little by little, his form is returning. I could be wrong but I hope the papers again report - Darren, you got the silver!

  • Comment number 78.

    Yes Carl, I can take or leave Rory but the latter if pushed.

  • Comment number 79.

    Home loyalties to one side, I'd honestly love it if Sergio could win this week. Been a massive fan of his for years. If he can keep his head together on the greens, the rest of his game is in pretty good shape.Links golf calls for creativity and he has that in spades! On the home front; Westwood or McDowell.

  • Comment number 80.

    Woods doesnt even need to worry about the rough because with the size of his galleries which i can only attribute to the Fame he found in his Golden Days it'll all be Trampled Underfoot anyway

  • Comment number 81.

    I personally think Garcia was a fool to cry at Carnoustie. When it started to rain he ran off the course and shouted 'gimme shelter' to his mom. Apparently she wasn't vey sympathetic and just said 'Oh no, not you again'. By the time he got to the 18th tee on Friday he was out of tears. He said he was going to go on with the show and give it one more try, even though his swing was out of control and he was out of time.

  • Comment number 82.

    Did you know that it's 100 years ago that Ted Ray won?

  • Comment number 83.

    78 cfc - if that was an attempt then it's been disallowed on a technicality!

  • Comment number 84.

    Has anybody else got Wikipedia open on another tab?

  • Comment number 85.

    Yes Russell, "I'm talking about you"!!!

  • Comment number 86.

    bmg...without even visiting fb, i detect a theme!!!

  • Comment number 87.

    Jimmy I'm going to have one more try. Can I have my Honda Points. I aint too proud to beg. I can't let it go - some things just stick in your mind, even though I know my chances are slipping away. I don't think tiem is on my side is it? I think something happened to me yesterday and I can't stop breaking down. Quite honestly I'm shattered. Jimmy, think. Tell me,

  • Comment number 88.

    I see Rory was practicing early as he and Wozninicknackynoo are apart so he can concentrate on The Open. Don't worry Rors, be happy she loves you and will be there for you when you miss the cut.

  • Comment number 89.

    darn it I panicked and press post comment for some reason.

    SO Jimmy, as I was saying, tell me what your reasons are. I don't know why you won't let me have the points. I go wild when I think about it. It really is rough justice. Anyway, I want to remain respectable, and I know you'll just say you better move one, so I will.

    I can't wait to see the rain fall down at the open. Even then I fancy Garcia, because after he admitted he can't win a major, he will have no expectations

  • Comment number 90.

    #75,
    It did take me a few moments to realise that you meant "compliment".

    P.S. Let's see... I clearly pointed out your nature/character, but it's "beyond my understanding"? LOL. Like I said, perfectly illustrate your nature :)

    P.P.S. Also, that of Chelsea fans - ROFL!!!

  • Comment number 91.

    PICKS:

    Tiger Woods
    Sergio Garcia
    Lee Westwood
    Steve Stricker


    would have picked tom lewis but apparantly hes not in the field.......

  • Comment number 92.

    @90 - I'm also ROFL, Indeed i'd go so far as to say i was LM*AO.

    @91 - One pick too many

  • Comment number 93.

    Jimmy before I forget my picks are
    THe Open
    THE TIGER
    Lee Westwood
    Sergio Garcia

    Silver medal Alan Dunbar.

    True South
    Brian Harman
    Brendon's De Jonge
    DA Points

  • Comment number 94.

    cfcboy, that's fair enough, I like consistency, I admire both as golfers but don't like Tiger's personality at times and think Rory is to eager to blame the course or weather for his bad play rather than focus on the real short falls in his game ie his caddie, having a faceless management company, not being able to decide whether he plays best in USA or Europe

  • Comment number 95.

    4 outside picks for the Open.
    Ricky Fowler @ 40 : 1
    Dustin Johnson @ 50 : 1
    Nicholas Colsaerts @ 80 : 1
    Kevin Na @ 200 : 1
    £2 e/w wager on the above will reap a pretty handsome reward I reckon. Off to bookies to place my guaranteed £16 investment.

  • Comment number 96.

    @ Jimmy - I thought we had 4 picks for majors?

    TW, Garcia, Westwood it is then

    True South - De Jonge, Blake Adams, DA Points

  • Comment number 97.

    #83... incredibly, a coincidence! What is wikipedia?
    #90... GB, sorry I was trying to complete 2 tasks at once so to clear things up - you can tell my nature from posts and being a Chelsea fan or you can tell the nature of Chelsea fans by my posts? Please clarify as BMG is still trying to figure me out and you seem to have achieved the impossible already (whilst being a very fine golfer over the years).

  • Comment number 98.

    I see the sqirrel is back and picking on a master blogger. Just because someone has an opinion about the GOAT and expresses it forcefully it is not an excuse for the vitriol.
    Yes this will be a tough Open but not as tough as Carnasty. Thursday looks like it could be a hard days night fore some but the rest of the week should be fine and someone will find a stairway to heaven.

  • Comment number 99.

    Here's to page

  • Comment number 100.

    2

 

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