Dougherty on top after crash course in the basics from dad

Who'd be a dad? The son smashes your Mercedes up and then expects you to salvage his golf game in time for the biggest tournament on the European Tour.

So it was yesterday for poor Roger Dougherty, who must have found it very difficult indeed last night to dish out the rollocking young Nick deserved. Well, how do you tell your boy who turned 24 on Wednesday that thanks to him he has a mangled mess where the boot used to be, and that no, a 67 to share the lead in the BMW PGA Championship alongside two other young Englishmen called Luke Donald and Paul Casey was no excuse?

On Tuesday, Nick had insisted that Roger's pride and joy would easily fit on to his rather fancy, two-tier hydraulic parking device in Richmond. Crunch! "Nick, where are you?" sounded the booming voice as quivering recipient was on his way back from the Tour's annual dinner. Dougherty Jnr feared the worst. "Dad's always been hard on me," he laughed.

It has been the making of the next big thing in British golf, ever since he was dragged on to the municipal in Bootle. There the teacher would hold court and hone skills that were not just confined to a classic swing that promises to carry the prodigy into this year's Ryder Cup team and beyond. At the same time the 59-year-old learnt a bit about the game as well, so much so that his son's coach ­ the peerless David Leadbetter ­ even took some advice off the five-handicapper not so long ago.

"Dad understands me better than anyone and makes the game seem so less complicated," Nick said. "He thinks it's a case of 'hit it down the fairway, knock it on the green and make the putt.' I mean how hard is it? I know he's not going to screw me up, because he's my Dad. That's why I got him down here from Liverpool."

Good call. Dougherty, who has been "beating himself up" more than he ever has in the last two tournaments, was a player reborn yesterday, dashing around the lengthened West Course in that elegant manner of his with just one bogey a stranger among six birdies.

Such effortless exhibitions were not supposed to happen here again after Ernie Els' course changes, although Donald believes he knows the reason why he, his two countrymen and Zimbabwe's Andrew McLardy found it eminently possible to skirt to the top of a congested leader board.

"They moved the tees up," said the Chicago-based 28-year-old. "The European Tour were cautious. You would not have seen that in America, no. They would have been excited with the changes and expected a tough test. That was negated today."

Donald went on to agree with the view of those such as Colin Montgomerie and Paul McGinley that until the Tour makes the set-ups more severe ­ less generous off the tee, thicker rough, tougher pin positions ­ then the Europeans may not fare very well in America. "That's part of the reason why we haven't been very successful," he said. "Especially the US Open."

With the latter looming in three weeks' time, Donald will fancy his chances at Winged Foot as must Casey now, for there is not a golfer in all the world in such form. A fortnight ago he led until the final offing of the British Masters; last week he finished second at The Belfry; and now... well here he is again. "This consistency is something different, something new," he said.

A happy day then for English golfers everywhere. With or without a boot to chuck the clubs into.

News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
politicsIs David Cameron trying to prove he's down with the kids?
News
Dominique Alderweireld, also known as Dodo de Saumure, is the owner of a string of brothels in Belgium
newsPhilip Sweeney gets the inside track on France's trial of the year
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Cumberbatch was speaking on US television when he made the comment (Getty)
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Tom DeLonge, Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 pictured in 2011.
musicBassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker say Tom Delonge is 'disrespectful and ungrateful'
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'
tvBroadchurch series 2, episode 4, review - contains spoilers
Sport
cyclingDisgraced cycling star says people will soon forgive his actions
News
Britain's Prince Philip attends a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran will play three sell-out gigs at Wembley Stadium in July
music
News
i100
News
Lena Dunham posing for an official portrait at Sundance 2015
people
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea