Faldo has to borrow pounds 10

AROUND ROYAL LYTHAM
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The Independent Online
Royalty, as the old saying goes, never carry cash. And neither it seems do professional golfing masters. Nick Faldo arrived at Lytham yesterday earlier than a German at a seaside swimming pool. With a tee- off time of 7.33am his Jaguar Sovereign was almost first in car park A near the clubhouse. The trouble was Nick had almost run out of petrol on the way to the course.

Grabbing the attention of one of the female courtesy car drivers who transport officials and players to the course, the current US Masters champion and multi-millionaire asked if she would kindly take his Jag and go and fill it up. As she waited for Mr Faldo to give her some cash for the petrol, Nick gently tapped the pockets of his golf slacks and said he was clean out of cash, and would she mind just putting a tenner in it for him.

After his three-under-par 68 put him in line for a decent cheque on Sunday, the Independent hopes he will remember the tenner on loan. If not we will gently remind him.

Closed world of the Open

If the Royal and Ancient are serious about their annual quest to find the world's best player, why is the Open Championship not played over as wide a variety of their finest courses as possible? Why must this annual pilgrimage of the faithful be worshipped at the same altars while other fine temples are ignored?

In a fearless quest for the truth, I put this very serious question to the R&A's supremo, Michael Bonallack. We offered him a list of Britain's finest-ignored, and like a surgeon with a sharp penknife Mr Bonallack cut our suggestions down to size.

The hit list is as follows: Nairn (Invernesshire)? "Crowd wouldn't be large enough, no car park." Royal Dornoch (Far North-east Scotland)? "Same as the above. Not long enough." But Westward Ho (North Devon)? "You'd never get rid of the horses." Royal Liverpool (Hoylake)? "That's one course we do miss. It's magnificent but totally impractical. No practice area. No tented village. Would be impossible." Royal Aberdeen? "Too short." Machrihanish (Kintyre)? "You'd get a crowd of about four people there." Royal Porthcawl (Near Cardiff, Wales)? "Nothing like long enough." Royal Portrush (Northern Ireland)? "It is a possibility and we have not discounted it." La Moye (Jersey)? "Too bizarre a suggestion." Royal County Down (Newcastle, Northern Ireland)? "Magnificent but totally impractical."

There you have it. For all those courses worried about what they have to do to impress the R&A, the diary has saved you a fortune in consultancy fees.

Horror of the shooting stick

Four days of sun, sweat and English summer at its best - that's the forecast for Lytham this week. Good news? That depends. If your name is Colin Holden and you are head of emergency planning, the prospect of treating squads of sunstroke victims, heart attacks and the odd nasty insect bite is proving rather daunting.

Around the acres of the championship course are six paramedic teams, complete with silent running electric carts and distinctive red stretchers. They link into three ambulances positioned around the outskirts of the course.

So if there is an emergency, then they will switch on their noisy sirens, flash their lights and rush to the trouble spot? Not necessarily. Bernard Glenholm, director of services at Lancashire Ambulance, said: "We've been asked to use discretion in making any noise."

A former doctor who regularly works at Open venues said: "Discretion essentially means no noise within two miles or the powers that be go bonkers."

So after day one has emergency planning gone well? "Our worst injury so far has been a broken shooting stick," Holden said. The damage? "Well, I can't show you photographs at the moment, but let's just say there was blood."

Ooh!

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