Golf: Coltart flies the flag for Scotland

Golf

TIM GLOVER

reports from St Andrews

For the first time in Celtic history, a Scotsman willingly distanced himself from a coin of the realm. Sam Torrance said he threw some money into the North Sea here yesterday after a bizarre incident at the third during Scotland's impressive march in the Alfred Dunhill Cup.

Torrance was standing over a 12-inch putt when he picked up his ball marker and failed (this is another first for a Scotsman) to find his pocket. Instead the marker fell to the ground and hit his ball. Torrance suspected he had infringed one of the myriad rules of golf. An official confirmed that Torrance's action had moved the ball: therefore a one-stroke penalty.

Torrance is not superstitious but tends to use, as a ball marker, the coin of the country he is in. Had he used an orthodox marker, the ball probably would not have budged. Anyway, it did and it cost him a five to Heinz Peter Thul's three. The coin? "It's in the bloody sea," Torrance said. The North Sea is not the Trevvi Fountain but if Torrance, who has won nearly pounds 700,000 this year, had a wish it seemed to work. He finished with a 71 and that was three strokes too good for Thul.

Once again Scotland were given a flying start by Andrew Coltart. He shot 66 on Thursday and yesterday he produced a 68 to defeat Alexander Cejka by two strokes. Cejka went out of bounds at the 17th and took six. Coltart took five at the Road Hole and that was his first bogey of the tournament.

"It is a pity this is not the Open Championship," Torrance said. "Coltart would be leading by six strokes." Torrance, the leader of the Volvo Order of Merit, woke up with a chest infection and had to take antibiotics. He should also have consulted a numismatist.

Scotland are the only team with a 100 per cent record. The team spirit is as tight as the Black Watch drum. "It's just a pity I dropped a shot at the 17th," Coltart said. "That's a great shame," Colin Montgomerie interrupted. "We really feel for you..."

"Will you shut up?" Coltart replied.

Today Scotland play South Africa for a place in the semi-finals and Coltart is out first again, this time against Ernie Els. With only one round of the round robin to go, it is clear that England and the United States are living on borrowed time.

England, beaten by Spain on Thursday, went down to Argentina yesterday when Jose Coceres birdied the last to get the better of Mark James by a stroke, 73 to 74. Vicente Fernandez had already beaten Barry Lane by eight strokes. In the final game, Howard Clark defeated Eduardo Romero.

James, one of Europe's Ryder Cup heroes in the singles, was dismissive of the event and was not too complimentary of the venue either. Is it hard, he was asked, to go for the Dunhill Cup after the Ryder Cup? "It's difficult to get up for this, whatever," James replied. "It's cold, the course is bleak and you're nowhere near the crowd."

At the home of golf this almost amounts to sacrilege, especially as the sun shone over the Old Course yesterday. "You learn so little every round here," James said. "The spectators are so far removed from the action they don't know where the second shot goes. Playing St Andrews is like Groundhog Day on grass."

The highlight of James's round, as far as he was concerned, was a triple- bogey six at the 11th hole where he landed in a bottomless bunker, took two to get out and three putted. "It added a little spice," James said. "At least it was different. It made the round roughly interesting." James was in one of his mischievous moods and he admitted there was another reason for his over-par performance. Since drinking champagne at Oak Hill in Rochester after Europe's Ryder Cup victory, half of Yorkshire has kept him well oiled. "The celebrations," James said, "have taken their toll."

Ian Woosnam knows the feeling. The Wales captain pulled a muscle in his back, lifting Costantino Rocca by the 18th at Oak Hill, but yesterday he led his country to a 3-0 victory over New Zealand. In this convoluted format it means that Wales, beaten 3-0 by Zimbabwe on Thursday, still have an outside chance of surviving. There is hardly anybody alive who remembers the last time Wales beat the Kiwis 3-0.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence