2009 Open diary: Turnberry's corporate income turns to Ashes - Golf - Sport - The Independent

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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, poses at the premiere of
people
News
people
Voices
The male menopause: those affected can suffer hot flushes, night sweats, joint pain, low libido, depression and an increase in body fat, among other symptoms
voicesSo the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
News
The frequency with which we lie and our ability to get away with it both increase to young adulthood then decline with age, possibly because of changes that occur in the brain
scienceRoger Dobson knows the true story, from Pinocchio to Pollard
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen