Golf: The Open - Maths puzzle distracts Parnevik's putting

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JESPER PARNEVIK loves a mathematical problem almost as much as he loves playing golf.

He was distracted at Loch Lomond last week when about to putt for a birdie because of a puzzle going around in his head, involving the circumference of the earth. The Swede little realised that going public on the matter would create such a great deal of interest.

"Someone actually sent me a few books of maths problems and puzzles," he said. "He read somewhere that I like them and they were quite interesting. The funny thing was that he actually had that circumference of the earth problem in one of them. And they got it wrong in the book!"

Brian Watts still cannot quite come to terms how his life has changed since last summer. The American arrived at Royal Birkdale unknown after playing on the Far East tour yet went on to force a play-off with Mark O'Meara.

"People had a clue who I was this year," said Watts, who comfortably made the cut at Carnoustie with a total of 147. "It was nice. In the past they didn't have a clue that I could play golf. I am disappointed I didn't win last year. I didn't play very well on the weekend. I could have won it."

Another man to make the putt was Neil Price from Leasowe, who replaced the injured Sam Torrance on Thursday with only 20 minutes notice.

The former Cheshire Boys champion, who qualified from Monifeith, is indebted to Les Foley, a jeweller on the Wirral. Foley has paid Price's pounds 85 entrance fee to the championship the last four years. "I sent off the cheque to the R and A, now I am just waiting for Les to repay me," he said.

Television viewers are getting a better understanding of the playing conditions at Carnoustie, thanks to new technology from Unisys.

This advanced technology solution captures wind speed and direction relative to the fairway from the golfer's perspective and relays the data, via radio, to a computer inside the production truck. In turn, the computer generates a graphical icon showing wind speed in miles per hour and an arrow that represents the exact direction the wind is blowing.

There were so many bogey fives on the windswept first day, officials ran out of numbers on the press centre scoreboard and had to call for new supplies.