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.

Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleFirst memoir extracts show she 'felt pressured' into going out with the Sex Pistols manager
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Lewis Hamilton in action during the Singapore Grand Prix
Formula OneNico Rosberg retires after 14 laps
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
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

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam