2009 Open diary: Rose gets one over 16th
Saturday 18 July 2009
When Tom Watson called Turnberry "defenceless" on Thursday, he was overlooking the new 16th hole. A once-easy downhill par-four has been turned into a treacherous dog-leg which swings right and over a deep creek angled in front of the green.
On day one, into the breeze, it ruined many promising rounds. Fredrik Jacobson approached on minus four and was rocked back by a triple bogey, and the list of double bogeys was an Open who's who: Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Soren Kjeldsen, Adam Scott, Kenny Perry, Chad Campbell, Anthony Kim, KJ Choi and Greg Norman were among their number. It is Turnberry's car-crash corner, and the stands are full to bursting itching to see pros come a cropper.
But yesterday, with the wind helping, the hole was kinder. The front pin obliged them to bring the ball over the flag and putt back towards the hazard, and some overdid it. It flummoxed Kjeldsen again – he took an eight; and JB Holmes crashed it into the spectator stand behind the green, and had to hole a tough return for a bogey. But Justin Rose showed how to do it with a trickle-down putt for birdie that helped keep him in the tournament.
Focus on Ishikawa stops Woods clicking into gear
Despite Angel Cabrera's famous remark that "other players have psychologists – I just smoke", the fact is that not many of the golfers light up out there. Miguel Angel Jimenez has his cherished post-round cigar; Darren Clarke likes the odd puff; and John Daly hits driver on the practice tee with a cigarette clamped between his teeth. This is a tribute to their self-control, because the game's neurotic stresses are there for all to see.
It cannot have been easy for Sergio Garcia, wedged between the oldest man in the tournament and the youngest, to continue thinking of himself as "El Niño". And one factor in the poor form of Tiger Woods in the first round may lie in the circus surrounding his glamorous Japanese partner, 17-year-old Ryo Ishikawa.
Woods is well used to the media scrum, of course – but it was a new experience for him to have scores of cameramen (40 or 50 on the first tee alone) snapping pictures of... someone else.
Imada takes it breezy on heavenly 17th hole
Everyone knows that the wind makes Turnberry a different course, and yesterday proved it. In practice, and on day one, the 17th was an into-the-wind beast (Westwood hit two drivers and still did not make the green). But with the breeze reversed it became an eagle opportunity at a crucial time in the round. Ryuji Imada holed from 40 feet to make the cut; Padraig Harrington and Tom Lehman both birdied it – even a deflated Ian Poulter had his only birdie in two days here – to edge them inside the mark. Carl Pettersson, meanwhile, eagled it to reach 11 over par, and beamed with relief – 13 over would have been awful.
Radio no substitute for Daly dose of live action
It's an Open secret that to enjoy wandering the links you need a neck-strung portable radio. It is the only way to keep track of goings-on. But the earphoned crowd begins to titter when it becomes obvious that the commentary team is watching the championship on TV. You can sit in the stands around the 18th green, watch John Daly chip up to the hole – and a few minutes later the radio cuts, as if live, to here comes Daly, chipping at 18. Or perhaps, at the Open, time really does stand still.
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