2009 Open diary: Turnberry's corporate income turns to Ashes

In golf circles the "downturn" sounds like the treacherous 10th hole that topples over the Turnberry rocks here, but the economic dip is responsible for a sharp decline in corporate attendance at this year's Open Championship. "That's just a fact of life," said the R&A director of championships, David Hill, yesterday. But there may be another reason for the falling off: this year's Open clashes with the Ashes cricket Test at Lord's, which also starts today.

Shrewd sporting governance might have ensured that these two events – twin peaks of the British sporting summer – did not coincide. But this year's Lord's Test was knocked out by the Twenty20 World Cup. "For us, this mid-July date is fixed," said Peter Dawson, the chief executive of the R&A. "So the Open is when it always is."

It would be an irony, given the reputation for wild weather in these parts, if golf was saved by the rain – the forecast does predict more water in St John's Wood than in south Ayrshire.

Round-the-world-trip pays off for Senden

The last man into Turnberry was the 2006 Australian Open champion, John Senden, who was summoned yesterday when the Indian No 1, Jeev Milka Singh, pulled out with a "nagging rib injury". It meant that Thomas Levet, who was called in at the start of the week when Brett Quigley withdrew, was only the second happiest man on the links. Fortunately, Senden was already here: he had gambled on being included and crossed the world. "As soon as I became first reserve I decided to come," he said. "It wouldn't have been nice to come all this way and not play, but it would have been worse sitting at home." After four top-10 finishes in America this year, he intends to do more than make up the numbers.

Six-year-old putts the pros in their place

As part of the "Scottish Homecoming" celebrations, Turnberry staged a "putt-against-the-pro" contest here yesterday. One of the early leaders was Josh Harding, a six-year-old from Eastbourne, Sussex, who has already broken a hundred at his local course (off the men's tees) and looked every inch the miniature pro. You heard the name here first.

Babies and hernias have players on edge

Family matters are intruding on many of the competitors here this week. Ross Fisher has a helicopter standing by to airlift him back to his wife's bedside in Surrey should their baby, due yesterday, decide to arrive, but he was still draining putts on the practice green in the sunshine yesterday. The only Welsh player in this year's field, Rhys Davies, has a more precise anxiety. His father suffers from a hernia, and during the practice round needed the occasional lie-down. At one point he was alarmed to be surrounded by nervous policemen rushing to anything out of the ordinary. That's how thick the rough is, and how tight the security.

Who'll be on the greens in red, white and blue?

It was at the Open five years ago that the fashion guru that is Ian Poulter unfurled his natty Union flag trousers to the world. Royal Troon didn't know what had hit it. Today, the very English man will be draped in this cardigan, the latest number from his own clothing range. And to finish the look, the trousers will be tartan. A must-see.

Suggested Topics
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella


Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London