James Corrigan's Open Diary: 16/07/2011 - Golf - Sport - The Independent

James Corrigan's Open Diary: 16/07/2011

Club Sandwich


Driven to distraction, so Lewis Snr makes a mad dash to Sandwich


At Royal St George's Tom Lewis's father, Bryan, made a mad but unfortunately futile dash down to Sandwich to see his son remain in contention at the Open Championship. "Hopefully, he'll be here soon, so he can work on the range with me and we can find something for the weekend," said Tom. "I haven't spoken to him."

This was no a case of indifference on the father's behalf. This was a case of tension so intense that he could not remain in work yesterday morning – or even watch his son's second round on television.

Lewis Snr, who played on the European Tour, is a teaching pro at the Gosling Driving Range in the family's home town of Welwyn Garden City. He refused the chance to travel down to the Kent coast, saying he would be too nervous. But then he discovered he couldn't work, either. "He couldn't concentrate," said a colleague. "He was fidgety and said he had to go home and watch it on the telly."

But it was hell, so Bryan jumped in the car and made the long trip to Sandwich. His son was relieved when he eventually turned up and the pair went to work. Bad new for Lewis's rivals, though: There's two of them now.

Paramor cuts dash – in a buggy

John Paramor, chief referee of the European Tour, is perhaps surprisingly able to continue a run of officiating at the Open that goes back to Birkdale in 1991. Paramor injured a knee during last week's Scottish Open and went to see a specialist on Tuesday, when keyhole surgery was carried out immediately. So successful was the procedure he was able to travel to Sandwich, where he is carrying out his duties primarily from a buggy.

On Course Foundation representatives in welcome appearance

One of the more uplifting sights here has been representatives of the On Course Foundation. The charity was set up by John Simpson, Sir Nick Faldo's former manager, to give members of the Armed Forces the opportunity to play golf.

Gregg Stevenson, a double amputee who lost his legs in Afghanistan ("I was in a crew looking for IEDs [Improvised Explosive Device] and unfortunately I found one"), had never played before, but now, aged 26, has a handicap of 18.

Stevenson now works for the foundation which seeks to rehabilitate through golf. He was here yesterday with Aaron Moon, who lost a leg in Helmand, who is 24 and plays off 15. "On Course" has held four events this year, from Cornwall to Orlando, where its members are given tuition and play a tournament.

To donate or contact, visit oncoursefoundation.com.

Practicalities of the iron lost on Glover

The strangest exchange in the press room was between Lucas Glover and a journalist. Q: "Do you do your own ironing?" A: "Not me. I don't know what an iron looks like. That's the beauty of golf clothes. You just hang them up for a night and you're good again."

Is Glover about to become the first Open champion sinceHenry Seeley invented the iron in the late 19th Century, who has never heard of the iron?

That remains unknown. But he would be the first to become the first Open champion with a beard since 1890. The amateur John Ball was the (hairy) winner that year.

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