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
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn