Open Diary

Evert love match lifts the Grey White Shark
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The Independent Online

Attempting to explain the resurgence of Greg Norman, aka the Grey White Shark, Bernard Gallacher informed listeners of BBC Radio Five Live: "It just shows what marrying a new woman can do for you. I hope my wife isn't listening." Seconds later his phone rang. "I am," Lesley Gallacher told her husband. In what appears to be a match made in heaven, Norman got hitched to Chris Evert a couple of weeks ago in the Bahamas and the former tennis ace, wrapped in a black hoodie, has been walking the links at Birkdale, lending moral support to her partner. Norman, twice an Open champion, managed to avoid paying a fine here after he was stopped by police for driving while using a mobile phone. He was very grateful; his ex-wife Laura received $103 million (£52m) in the divorce settlement.

Dalglish wildly off target

Kenny Dalglish, playing in a pre-Championship exhibition, shanked a shot so badly that he almost destroyed a photographer, his ball rocketing past the nose of the startled snapper. Had it been any closer, the sponsors of the event, a firm of cosmetic dentists, would have been required to put their money where his mouth was. It had been reported that Dalglish and another former Liverpool hero, Alan Hansen, who have houses within driving range of Royal Birkdale, had been denied membership of the links. Not so. They are quite content to enjoy membership of the adjoining Hillside course. In fact, aficionados regard the back nine holes of Hillside as being superior.

Sands of time save Graeme

Graeme McDowell went into the Open on the back of victory in the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond, but the story might have been different. A TV viewer rang the European Tour to allege that McDowell had grounded his club before playing out of a bunker at the 17th in the final round. Rules officials had to search high and low for a video of the incident and a two-shot penalty would have caused utter chaos, but in the event it was decided that McDowell was innocent.

Worksop workshop for Lee

In his efforts to enhance his prospects of becoming a major contender, Lee Westwood has tightened his belt by as much as six notches and yet has not lost a pound in weight. It's all down to his new fitness regime, which has seen him install a tailor-made gym at his home – a workshop in Worksop. A fat lot of good it did him.

Going down a storm

The portents for the unkind weather were all there for the 137th Open: the field included a Storm, a Blizard and a Frost.

Nothing can save the Wales

The Welsh flag is among those fluttering above the grandstands by the 18th hole and yet not a single Welsh player is competing. Bradley Dredge, one of Wales's leading hopes, did not even attempt to qualify.