Golf The Open: Garcia switched off by nightmare

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The Independent Online
SERGIO GARCIA will not watch the final rounds of the Open for the first time in a decade this weekend - because he feels it is not worthy of his attention. The 19-year-old Spaniard, who is regarded as one of the world's most promising players, suffered a humiliating exit at Carnoustie last night, adding a second round 83 to his opening 89 for a 30- over- par total of 172. The Irish Open champion, who only 10 days ago shot 62 at Loch Lomond, finished last of the 156-strong field.

"I don't think I'm going to watch the Open this weekend, probably the first time in 10 years I'm not going to be watching it on television," Garcia said. "I don't think it deserves it. You can't have probably the toughest golf course in the world with 12 -yard wide fairways when you know the weather is going to be like this. I don't know if I'll come back here. I don't know if we will play another tournament here."

Garcia said he could not remember the last time he had shot an 89, but insisted: "I don't care. I would care on a different type of course in a different type of weather. I just walk off the 18th and forget everything because I don't think this tournament deserves to be remembered.

"This is probably the worst experience I've had in golf. I don't think they did a good job with the course. Not even Jean Van de Velde is enjoying this golf course. It's always said you learn more from this kind of round than when you win and it's probably right. I will try to learn a lot of things and come next year do well. I'll keep playing as if I haven't played the Open this year."

Another player who will not be in action today is Australia's Rodney Pampling, who suffered the ignominy of becoming the first man in history to miss the cut after leading the first round of the Open. The 30-year- old from Queensland was the only player to match the par of 71 in the first round, but he crumbled to a second round score of 86, 15 over par, and missed the cut by three strokes. The previous worst performance by a first-round leader in the Open was in 1922 by Ted Ray, who followed a 73 with 83, 85 and 80 to finish 47th.

"I just didn't play well all day and kept getting bad lies," Pampling said. "Then all of a sudden you have a lot of score. I'm not too happy, obviously, but I've gained a lot of experience. What have I learned? Not to hit it in the rough."

Zane Scotland, the youngest competitor in this year's Open at 16, had the consolation of finishing ahead of the reigning champion, Mark O'Meara, after the opening day. The England Boys player from Woodcote Park, Surrey, finished on 82, one better than the American, following a seven at the last. Yesterday he went one better, compiling 81.

Scotland finished with a bogey six, but admitted he tried to follow in Justin Rose's footsteps by chipping in at the last. "That was the intention when I weighed up my approach but it was still good to get up and down," he said.

"My heart was pounding as I walked across the bridge at the last. The crowd gave me a wonderful reception. Everyone was cheering. It has been a fantastic week, everything I could have hoped for and more. I felt much better today than I did yesterday. Perhaps if I have learned something from the Open, it is that my course management could have been much better."

None of the four amateurs made the cut which means the silver medal will not be awarded. Luke Donald, of Beaconsfield, finished top of the pile on 156 after shooting 76.

Sandy Lyle, who won the Open 14 years ago, also missed the cut after rounds of 82 and 81. "It has probably set me back six months now," Lyle said. "All the hard work I've been doing getting my swing organised and it just tore it apart."