Although the Americans have been loudest in their objections, it was the greatest British golfer of modern times who was the most spectacular casualty. Nick Faldo was eliminated after adding a score of 79, eight over par, to his first-round 78. This was the first time in 24 appearances that Faldo had failed to make the half-way cut in the competition he won in 1987, 1990 and 1992.
Tiger Woods, the world number one, said after finishing the day in fourth place: "This golf course is going to penalise you whether you play good shots or bad shots. The course is set up so that if it was a calm day it would be a good test. It's not calm out there right now."
Jean Van Der Velde, a Frenchman, was the surprise leader last night. His score looked certain to be challenged by Greg Norman, who was four under par when he arrived at the 17th. Then the Australian, too, fell victim to the choking grass that borders the narrow fairways, and which some believe has been artificially cultivated by the green-keepers.
"It's still the greatest championship," Norman said, "and we'll probably wake up on Monday morning and say, `God, I had fun,' but right now in the heat of the moment we don't like it."
Open reports, pages 30-32