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Picking an Open winner

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Rob Hodgetts | 19:18 UK time, Tuesday, 14 July 2009

On the eve of the 138th Open, and with the phoney war coming to an end, we thought it might help to find out who the pundits are picking as the likely champion at Turnberry.

We canvassed a cross-section from the assembled media here in Ayrshire, asking for their idea of the winner and another player who will feature prominently this week.

Here's what they said:

John Hopkins - The Times

Winner: It is hard to look past Tiger Woods. He has played pretty well this year. There is a question mark over his driving but if the wind does not blow he could do what he did at Hoylake and not use the driver.

Watch out for: Sean O'Hair and Hunter Mahan could have good weeks because they are good ball strikers. I would say Rory McIlroy as well because the force of youth is with him. He is at the age where he does not know how difficult the game is. He is wide eyed and everything is wonderful.Tiger Woods practices at Turnberry

Peter Alliss - BBC golf commentator

Winner: Tiger Woods is the man to beat. He took eight months off, has won three times since coming back, has not been out of the top 10 and people are saying he's not as good as he was. Ridicluous.

Watch out for: The bookies always get it right. If you're having a bet for a bit of fun and are just risking a fiver, have a look for someone you fancy between about 25-1 to 60-1. There's usually a name in there that will give you a good run for your money. Adam Scott is showing a return to form and I like watching Geoff Ogilvy. He's very, very good.

But I'd really like a home winner, if not a European. There are a number of youngish British stars - Rory McIlory, Paul Casey, Ian Poulter - who talk a good game but Ross Fisher could be my dark horse. He will be somewhere around 40-1 and would be worth an each-way bet.

Mark Reason - Daily Telegraph

Winner: Tiger Woods is considerably the best player. It relies on him having straightened out his driver but the signs are that he has. If he hits it straight off the tee he will win.

Watch out for: Lee Westwood. He is a terrific driver of the ball and is bang on form. He lost in a play-off very unluckily two weeks ago and might even have won last week if he hadn't been dog sick in the first round.

Art Spander - San Francisco Examiner

Winner: Tiger Woods is the favourite and deservedly so. He won the last tournament he played. He got rained out at the US Open but still managed to finish in the top 10. He is the best golfer in the world. He plays very smart and has already figured out what he can do here. Tiger is the best putter there is in the game and if you can hole putts then you are in any tournament.

Watch out for: I like Ian Poulter. He played well in the Ryder Cup and was second at the Open last year. He is English but he plays in America, and he can handle anything. It is so tough on the local players here because the papers get on them but Poulter can handle it.

Ken Brown - BBC golf commentator

Winner: You can't look any further than Tiger Woods. I don't know how he does it but prior to the Memorial Tournament he was struggling to find the course off the tee. Suddenly that week, bang, he hits all the fairways on the final day and wins with ease. If Woods finds the fairway he can go around with his seven out of 10 game and is a very tough man to beat, unless he has one of those days of links golf or gets caught the wrong side of the draw when the wind is blowing an absolute hurricane.

Watch out for: How about Retief Goosen? He's suddenly found some form recently. He won in the US and is not frightened to win majors. He likes fast greens and doesn't worry about big breaking putts - and there are quite a few at Turnberry. If I was going to go for someone who might give you a run for your money, he would be in with a chance.

David Facey - The Sun

Winner: Anthony Kim. He is the most exciting American to emerge in a while. He played well at the Open last year and is great value.

Watch out for: Lee Westwood is in great form and played well to make the play off at the French Open. I watched him at the Scottish Open last week, he had a chest infection but he turned it around to finish in the top 10. This course will suit him and he will enjoy playing with Tiger.

Iain Carter - Radio 5 Live golf correspondent

Winner: It's completely unoriginal but it all points to Tiger Woods, especially if the wind doesn't blow.

Watch out for: If not Tiger, it could be a very big week for Lee Westwood. Everybody is saying what an important attribute driving is around here and he scores very highly on accuracy, which is crucial. The only question is just how many putts he can hole.

Larry Dorman - New York Times

Winner: It's hard for me not to go with Tiger Woods. He is on form and this is a golf course that suits long hitters who can keep it on the fairway.

Watch out for: I think Rory McIlroy can finish in the top five because he is also a long hitter. If he can hit it straight he can make a lot of birdies. I also like Graeme McDowell - he is a good links player and so is Ian Poulter.

Bill Elliott - The Observer

Winner: Apart from the obvious and saying Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk has the all round game and if he does get in the position to win, he will not bottle it. He gives it everything he can.

Watch out for: Sergio Garcia because he could do well if his putter works - I would be so happy for him if he did do it.Ian Poulter.jpg

Andrew Cotter - BBC golf commentator

Winner: If Tiger Woods can drive like he did at Memorial that's kind of it for everyone else's chances.

Watch out for: Lee Westwood is a long, straight driver, though his Open record is not that great. But he was 10th, 15 miles up the road at Royal Troon in 1997 and 4th again at Troon in 2004 so he likes Ayrshire.

But I have put money on a player for the first time in a long time. He's got a decent each-way chance and I'd be very happy for a high finish for Ben Curtis. He had three hard years after he won in 2003 but since then he became a Ryder Cup player and has contended in other majors. He's very steady and straight off the tee and could feature.

Damon Hack - Sports Illustrated

Winner: Tiger Woods. His form is really sharp and is he is getting stronger. He has hit more fairways as the year has gone on. We are just starting to see flickers of the old Tiger.

Watch out for: Ian Poulter has shown a lot as well. He has played well at the big events and will have a lot of support. He shines in this atmosphere. I like his game.

Mike Harris - Golf Monthly

Winner: Ian Poulter because he is a really good ball striker and has a good short game. If he gets his putter going then he will contend. He is a gritty competitor, he is desperate to win and likes the spotlight of a big tournament.

Watch out for: I like Hunter Mahan. Again, he is a very good ball striker and as well as that - he manages his game really well. He has a good Open record and is showing some good form. I do not see Poulter or Mahan getting ruffled by the weather.

Mark Lamport-Stokes - Reuters

Winner: I'll be boring and say Tiger Woods. He will reverse this year's trend of winning a tournament before a major but not going on to win that major.

Watch out for: Graeme McDowell. He has played links golf all his life and he has what it takes to win a major tournament.

Shane O'Donoghue - BBC golf reporter

Winner: Tiger Woods. He stands out with his extreme preparation and his ability to be conservative at just the right time to produce the desired result, which is a guaranteed par and a chance to get a birdie.

Watch out for: Soren Kjeldsen. He's in exemplary form, is striking the ball very well, can putt. He's one of those little guys who packs a big punch and is a really good each-way bet.

Follow our updates from the Open this week on Twitter (www.twitter.com/robhodgetts or www.twitter.com/markorlovac).

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    What about Danny Noonan or the Dalai Lama?

  • Comment number 2.

    In all seriousness, if Tigger only has to use his driver on 2 or 3 holes, he will win it comfortably. Still amuses me how he continues to protest how much better a player he is now vs 2000 when the evidence all contradicts this. I watched his St Andrews win then on ESPN Classic the other day and it's night and day. His swing was so much shorter, tighter and more consistent then than it is now, much like yours Rob.

  • Comment number 3.

    Im going for Goosen to win but If Tiger plays anywhere near his best he should win

  • Comment number 4.

    i would go for paul casey(although I'm always wrong) becuse he is having an excellent year. if not him then cabrera, as he has just won a major and that will breed confidence, as with harrington the last two years winning three majors.

  • Comment number 5.

    I assume these pundits left their predictions without looking at a weather forecast...'if the wind does not blow'...this is Turnberry, Ayrshire in July...it'll blow!

    Paul Casey or Ian Poulter for my money

  • Comment number 6.

    Bit of an outside shot but Miguel Angel Jimenez always seems to perform at the majors... Shooter McGavin has great intensity as well

  • Comment number 7.

    I think you should have asked them the question as "Other than Woods, who do think......" would have saved some typing and server use! ;)

  • Comment number 8.

    I have placed a small wager on Soren hansen E/W

    Dont know too much about him but just saw him floating around a few leaderboards recently and thought "meh why not"

  • Comment number 9.

    Soren Hansens a very good shout as is Soren Kjedlsen !!

    I've went with a £5 spot on Henrik Stenson at 40/1 £5 on Rory Mcilroy at 40/1 and £3 on Sergio Garcia at 33/1

  • Comment number 10.

    I've had some small each way money on Steve Stricker, Sean O'Hair, Kenny Perry and Mike Weir.

    I'm not a big punter otherwise I'd have lumped on Tiger but I don't think there's much value at 9/4.

  • Comment number 11.

    Stenson is a great shout, but his game is just off the boil at the moment.

    Have had a flutter on Westwood for the past few years and will do likewise again today. Woods is going to be the man on eveybody's mind, but if one player can shut him and his "circus" out of his mind, then that player has a great shout too.

  • Comment number 12.

    Nedthestableboy - big hitter, the Lama, long. Could be an asset around here. As for Tiger, I think it will be a repeat of Hoylake where he carefully plots his way around. And if he finds the short stuff, and holes a few more than at the US Open, he could win at a canter. And by the way, my swing is a thing of beauty. It's the distance and direction the ball goes in that leaves something to be desired.

    ConorLeedsfan and tdpj7890 - you'd think with his ranking he'd be a danger but I just don't feel it for Paul Casey here. Or Poulter for that matter.

    I might have a patriotic nibble on Westwood, but otherwise I might look to the likes of Furyk or Ben Curtis. Maybe even Cabrera.

    DaveAngel-EcoWarrior - I reckon Ty Webb could take Shooter McGavin with his eyes shut. "Just be the ball..."

    But then he only measures himself against other golfers by height.

  • Comment number 13.

    As I have said on the 606 forums, I've let my heart rule my head and put a couple of quid on Monty.

    Does he have a chance? Not really, but it would be great if he did.

  • Comment number 14.

    Ken Brown: Tiger won The Memorial "with ease". By one shot actually, following an outrageous chip-in on #11 and by birdieing the final two holes.
    Of course Tiger is the one they all have to beat but these guys are just playing safe because they know TW will give them a run.
    What a pity none of these "pundits" have the fortitude to go out on a limb; the Tiger-will-win brigade are wrong a lot more than they're right.
    McDowell to win, from Garcia and Cabrera. Hunter Mahan best American. Woods? Top eight!

  • Comment number 15.

    The Open sometimes throws up a "roughie'.Recently Todd Hamilton,Ben Curtis and lets not forget how easily Jean Van der Velde was placed on the last tee of the Open before he went for a paddle.
    One player who has been very quiet since the turn of the year but is starting to show form is Richard Sterne.Small outlay at big price!

  • Comment number 16.

    PS: Rob,
    You omitted your own predos. I'm guessing Woods from Poulter . . . .

  • Comment number 17.

    Kwini - do you mean you think I will say Woods from Poulter? I will probably say Woods - three wins, nothing worse than ninth, in eight events is a pretty strong claim.

    Not Poulter though. I do think he is more gritty than he is sometimes given credit for but I would prefer to go with Westwood if I was going to be patriotic. As I said above, though, the likes of Furyk, Curtis, Goosen and Cabrera have attracted some of my millions.

  • Comment number 18.

    Seems there's not much support/anticipation for the current holder of the Claret Jug!!
    I'm not sure what his odds are, but he could always pull one out of the bag again!! Sergio and Pod in another play off!?!
    I reckon Rory is a bit too 'wet behind the ears' for this one but I'd like him to do it.
    Personally I'd love Lee Westwood to lift the trophy. Always unassuming and the consummate professional!
    Come on Lee!! 'ave a guddun for us Northerners!!

  • Comment number 19.

    I am both surprised and not surprised that no-one has mentioned Martin Kaymer yet. On the plus side he's definitely on form, on the minus side how many people manage to win 3 weeks in a row. Either way he should at least get a mention.

  • Comment number 20.

    Backed Kaymer after France before Scotland @ 40's. Westwood and Poulter best of the home chance. Will find a couple of yanks/scandanavians @ big odds to have a little ew bet on before the off.

  • Comment number 21.

    Well I've gone for Els, Mahan, Curtis, Jimenez and Zach Johnson (well at least I thought I did), I've actually ticked the wrong box and it appears I've picked Dustin Johnson.......fate perhaps!!!

    I'd love to see Garcia or Westwood win it if my bets are unsuccessful......

  • Comment number 22.

    Yes, I agree that Tiger is the favourite, but not by the massive margin everyone (including the bookies) seem to think.

    I am not at all convinced by Woods' putting since his return.

    He had a dreadful week with the short stick at the US Open, and come to think of it, at The Masters too. Yes, he has won recently, and in impressive fashion. But winning PGA titles are small fry for Woods - he only cares about the Majors (and to a much lesser extent the WGC events).

    When the pressure is on, if he has to play catch up (which is likely with such a high quality field) I am not sure he has the feel with the putter to do so.

    Doubting Woods is high risk, his swing looks fantastic, his driving seems better than ever, his course management is improving all the time.

    But when 30-40% of the total shots hit this week will be with the putter, I certainly can't see Woods running away with it.



  • Comment number 23.

    I imagine there will be a few out there who think ive got a screw loose, but i think for an each way bet, paul broadhurst at 350/1 (bet365) is a real sleeper.

    Won the silver medal as an amateur, jointly holds the lowest round in open history (63 at st andrews), and has won 6 tour events, 5 of which were played on links courses. Also lead the estoril open this year (again, a links course) only to fall just short on the final day and finish tied fifth.

    Was also unbeaten in his ryder cup matches at kiawah, youve guessed it, playing links golf.

    This guy seems to love links golf, and has a decent (if unspectacular) open record, especially when you add in he was leading brit at carnoustie in 2007.

    watch out for this guy, im telling you

  • Comment number 24.

    I think Robert Rock is fantastic e/w value at up to 500/1. He has had a solid season, goes well in tough conditions and plays well on links courses... what a time it would be to break his duck after so many near misses! I have backed him outright and for the first round lead as he is prone to the odd flying start.

  • Comment number 25.

    Does anyone know if Happy Gilmore qualified?

  • Comment number 26.

    Tiger of course, but apart from them...I kinda like Goosen.
    Home grown...Westwood and Poulter

  • Comment number 27.

    I never bet on Woods, his odds are always prohibitive, 5/2 for an Open....

    I'll be putting some of my money both ways on Brian Gay (100/1) - he looked very solid at Loch Lomond and he's the sort of player that could fly under the radar and do very well.

    And my token British bet will undoubtedly be placed with more than a little hope on Ross Fisher, he's talented, confident and hungry after coming close at Bethpage.

    COME ON ROSSY!!!!

  • Comment number 28.

    Haha gilberto5 that cracked me up, as you said though maybe it will be a sign!!

    I still haven't decided who to put my money on yet, the last couple of majors I've gone for Furyk and Villegas and they've let me down so I'm definitely mixing it up for this one. Maybe Leonard as a former champion and McDowell. Tempted with Fisher E/W as well.

    As others have said though there's not much point betting on Woods at the sort of price he's on. Only if he has a fairly dodgy first day would I be tempted to put a couple of quid on him making a fantastic comeback.

  • Comment number 29.

    tiger only wins on open playing fields (st andrews, hoylake) deep rough narrow fairways on the west coast. go for david duval 150-1 great eachway bet.

  • Comment number 30.

    Someone needs to remind Peter Alliss that Rory McIlroy is not British. He is from Northern Ireland.

  • Comment number 31.

    Tiger is the favourite, however other than him I think Casey and McIlroy will do well. I think Stenson and Poulter will be up there again this year.

  • Comment number 32.

    a good outside bet justin leonard

  • Comment number 33.

    It`s difficult to argue with the Tiger Woods brigade who only see one possible winner.
    There are however one or two of our own guys who are well capable of winning.
    Ross Fisher is the man who has impressed most over the last season and finishing well at Bethpage will have given him the self belief that he belongs with the best.
    Lee Westwood has become the nearly man, taking over from Monty, and he just needs to tighten up with his putting to be a real contender.
    Rory McIlroy has the game and is not intimidated by Tiger, that could prove vital come Sunday.
    Sergio and Padraig both have the pedigree to do well, if the wind blows Padraig has the best chance.
    Whatever the outcome we are in for 4 days of great golf. Winning score -3

  • Comment number 34.

    30. At 4:21pm on 15 Jul 2009, Ira_abu wrote:
    Someone needs to remind Peter Alliss that Rory McIlroy is not British. He is from Northern Ireland.


    Like it or not, citizens of Northern Ireland are indeed British citizens (they have British passports), so it is not wrong to describe him as British. Of course he is also Irish.

  • Comment number 35.

    g mc all the way

  • Comment number 36.

    Some interesting betting tips coming through.
    I like the Paul Broadhurst suggestion from redashgolf - might give it a couple of quid - valid points made about Martin Kaymer too - 3 on the trot - unlikely - but worth a go!
    Paul Casey as well - he's having a cracking year - better check his odds!

    Ross Fisher seems to be the 'nearly man' - I'd like to see him win a big one though!

    Who's backing Greg Norman or Sir Nick?

  • Comment number 37.

    At 4:02pm on 15 Jul 2009, sublimesuperspur wrote:
    Haha gilberto5 that cracked me up, as you said though maybe it will be a sign!!

    Thanks, well all I can say its happened once before.....I was mean't to Cornish Sett for the Grand National this year but accidently ticked the box below 'Comply or Die', Cornish Sett fell early and Comply or Die came 2nd.....well I thought it was gonna win coming off the last fence haha

    I too like the cut of Broadhurst's jib (he seems like he's a links specialist), someone else said Tom Lehman at 500/1, he was winning 1 of the PGA tour events 3 weeks ago for 3 rounds then only shot level par in the last round and was overtaken by K Perry and H Mahan....(he was the Champion in 1996 as well)

  • Comment number 38.

    I went for Raphael Jacqueline at 200/1 and Chad Campbell at a whopping 500/1 for my outside shots. Managed to get Kaymer at 50/1 so my e/w bet on him looks half decent now. Also watch out for Bristol's Chris Wood. Was the best amatuer last year at the open and he gets better under pressure, managed to get him at some obscene odds too!!

  • Comment number 39.

    34. At 4:30pm on 15 Jul 2009, Give Me A Break! wrote:
    30. At 4:21pm on 15 Jul 2009, Ira_abu wrote:
    Someone needs to remind Peter Alliss that Rory McIlroy is not British. He is from Northern Ireland.


    Like it or not, citizens of Northern Ireland are indeed British citizens (they have British passports), so it is not wrong to describe him as British. Of course he is also Irish

    That is not strictly true. People from Northern Ireland are entitled to both British and Irish passports and can hold one or the other or indeed both. It is up to Rory himself how he wishes to describe himself or, indeed, if he wishes to decline to do so. It is not up to Mr. Alliss to give him a nationality and, therefore, he should not have described him as British. Moreover as Rory has competed in team golf for Ireland it would therefore have a greater basis in fact to describe him as Irish. However, if Mr Alliss had just written that he was from Northern Ireland I am sure no offence could be taken from that.

  • Comment number 40.

    I'd love to see McIlroy do it. The best thing about The Open for me though is the sense of occasion, so it doesn't matter too much who wins!

  • Comment number 41.

    My outside dabbles (on Betfair as I might want to sell them over the weekend before Tiger comes charging) are:

    Justin Rose @ 170/1 - has been talking a good game this week and it could just be time to realise the potential of 1997
    Angel Cabrera @ 120/1 - daft price as a current major holder
    Markus Brier @ 460/1 - who? ripped through two rounds of qualifying in -16, an experienced pro in the form of his life, tied for 12th last year - good outside punt to maybe sell after he has a good rounds 1 & 2. Search for the BBC article about the two brothers qualifying to read about Brier's exploits.

    I'm going to be very rich come Sunday!

  • Comment number 42.

    I wonder if someone from the orient will do it?
    Steady players, accurate.

  • Comment number 43.

    From a betting perspective, it's worth watching Tiger's first day performance- if he's among the leaders, everybody else's price will drift.
    Looking at outsiders, Adam Scott is finding his form and can be backed at 60/1. Kenny Perry has won more tournaments(5) than anyone in the last year or so- and is similarly priced.
    Not many will fancy Ben Curtis, but he likes links golf and finished 7th at Birkdale and 8th at Carnoustie. He has been playing quite well lately, and is my each way tip at 55/1 or better.

  • Comment number 44.

    That Woods bloke really ruined that article didn't he! Joking aside though it is difficult to look beyond him.

    My heart as always says Sergio Garcia, COME ON SERGIO!!

    On a different subject, why don't we use these beautiful Open courses more often? Please don't point out because the Open is only played once a year, you know what i mean.

    It's so rare to see the top ten or so golfers in the world playing in Europe, why not try and entice them in by using these special courses for other tournaments? Just think it's a real shame we dont get to see more of the top players playing top links courses.

  • Comment number 45.

    I like Westwood, tee to green he is one of the best in the game, but with the putter he just doesn't make his fair share, fingers crossed for the lad this week. Be nice if Casey could stand up and be counted on the major stage as well, you get the feeling if he could win a major he could go on to great things, hope so.

  • Comment number 46.

    it surprises me how little Padraig is mentioned. I think it was once in all the posts above. I know his form is terrible, but the scent of a major can shift him from the left side of his braiin to the right side and he'll be back to himself. So I put a couple each way on him.!!!

    That Marcus Brier is a good tip, thanks. I might put a couple on him too.

  • Comment number 47.

    had 4 bets Westwood,McDowell, Clarke & for some reason Charl Schwartzel..he's 200/1 but for some reason I think he'll do well.

  • Comment number 48.

    I don't think there'll be a runaway winner. I think it'll be a congested leaderboard with 'playoff' written all over it and I think a previous winner or playoff contender will win it.

    Don't know why but I really fancy Els - just wish he had that Ping Putter from the 90s!

  • Comment number 49.

    Your Open story ("Norman issues Turnberry warning") says that "However, last time around in 1994 Zimbabwean Nick Price carded four rounds in the 60's to match Watson's 280." So four rounds in the 60s gives him a score of 4 x 70? A basic maths lesson needed for the author off that story.

  • Comment number 50.

    This will be a memorable Open, and Beware the Quiet Man!

  • Comment number 51.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 52.

    'Someone needs to remind Peter Alliss that Rory McIlroy is not British. He is from Northern Ireland.'

    In response to 39- All great sportsmen and women from Norn Iron have been recognised as being british for decades. This maybe down to the fact that only really good sportsmen from Northern ireland (not a huge number) are recognised by the british media rather than just the local media. Just leave the nationality matter alone. He only represents northern ireland so there is no need for it! And to say that he is just irish because he represented Ireland has no relevance. i'm sure Northern ireland were included in that and for financial and historical reasons, and purely for convenience sportsmen from Northern ireland represent the whole island in many sports (swimming, rowing and rugby)

    ...BACK TO GOLF, Graeme McDowell has a decent shot because he is a good links player and historicall he has a good couple of rounds. Don't quite know how a major seems to elude a european so often, but taking that into account I think Geoff Ogilvy will be up there along with Steve Stricker. And it was Duval's year last year, then his charge up the leaderboard didn't quite materialise. I am wondering what people's views are on Martin kaymer are. I haven't seem him play much this year but I thought he was exceptional at times last year, and although he seems to be on a roll there has been little mention of him!

  • Comment number 53.

    Had a few each way flutters -
    Nick Watney @ 80-1 (Played very well in Scotland last weekend),
    Appleby @ 110-1,
    Westwood @ 25-1,
    Markus Brier @ 200-1 (Thanks to recomendations from this blog!) & McDowell @ 66-1 (Playing very well this year- put in a solid performance at the masters and as said before knows how to play Links Golf!

  • Comment number 54.

    Well Skybet is going Woods 5/2; 25-1 and better the field.

    In a field of 150+, to be 10 times firmer in the betting than anyone else does say the bookies will lose an absolute fortune if he wins on Sunday afternoon, doesn't it?

    McIlroy at 33-1 sounds worth a few bob.

  • Comment number 55.

    Personally I cant see that Woods winning and I have gone for Garcia, Westwood, Els and The Goose..In fact I have laid Woods to win, that's how confident I feel that he isn't up to this..

  • Comment number 56.

    It's Martin (Michael Schumacher) Kaymer for me @ 40/1

    Morning All by the way :-)

  • Comment number 57.

    52. At 01:53am on 16 Jul 2009, PJL90 wrote:
    'Someone needs to remind Peter Alliss that Rory McIlroy is not British. He is from Northern Ireland.'

    In response to 39- All great sportsmen and women from Norn Iron have been recognised as being british for decades. This maybe down to the fact that only really good sportsmen from Northern ireland (not a huge number) are recognised by the british media rather than just the local media. Just leave the nationality matter alone. He only represents northern ireland so there is no need for it! And to say that he is just irish because he represented Ireland has no relevance. i'm sure Northern ireland were included in that and for financial and historical reasons, and purely for convenience sportsmen from Northern ireland represent the whole island in many sports (swimming, rowing and rugby)

    PJL90 (if indeed that is your real name) - You are wrong. People from Northern Ireland can only hold a UK passport - and by definition the UK stands for the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'. It states it very clearly on the front of the passport.

    Can people stop incorrectly labelling people from Northern Ireland as British. It doesn't matter what their faith or political persuations are, no one from Northern Ireland is British.

    It is incumbent on journalists to get simple facts correct and their wishful thinking that they can claim who they like as being British when it suits their purpose is annoying. I have never, ever heard anyone claim that Martin McGuinness or Gerry Adams are British. Why do you suppose that is?

  • Comment number 58.

    @ #57 Your comment...."You are wrong. People from Northern Ireland can only hold a UK passport - and by definition the UK stands for the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'. It states it very clearly on the front of the passport."

    I'm afraid you are wrong. People in NI have a choice of either a UK passport or an Irish passport.

  • Comment number 59.

    58. At 10:45am on 16 Jul 2009, John From London Town CBE wrote:
    @ #57 Your comment...."You are wrong. People from Northern Ireland can only hold a UK passport - and by definition the UK stands for the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'. It states it very clearly on the front of the passport."

    I'm afraid you are wrong. People in NI have a choice of either a UK passport or an Irish passport.


    To clarify: I knew they could also hold an Irish passport. I meant it only in the context that they could not hold a British passport.

  • Comment number 60.

    @ Ira_abu.

    Course you did :-)

  • Comment number 61.

    60. At 1:02pm on 16 Jul 2009, John From London Town CBE wrote:
    @ Ira_abu.

    Course you did :-)

    With reference to this snide comment, for proof see entry 39 above.

  • Comment number 62.

    I was joking Ira_abu hence the smile after the comment.

    Chill & enjoy the Golf.

 

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