Open Diary: A Klas act at losing his cool

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The Independent Online

Not all Erikssons are ice-cool, unflappable personalities who refuse to snap. Certainly not Klas Eriksson, who on leaving the 18th green yesterday after a 73 smacked his putter against his bag before breaking it in two pieces across his knee and throwing it into the bin. He then coolly strolled across the green to shake his playing partners' hands. It's not the first time the Swede has boiled over, either. "That's about the sixth or seventh time this year," he said. "And there will be many more." Is it difficult to do? "No it's very, very easy. It's a wonderful feeling. It gets to you when you are putting like shit all the time."

Not all Erikssons are ice-cool, unflappable personalities who refuse to snap. Certainly not Klas Eriksson, who on leaving the 18th green yesterday after a 73 smacked his putter against his bag before breaking it in two pieces across his knee and throwing it into the bin. He then coolly strolled across the green to shake his playing partners' hands. It's not the first time the Swede has boiled over, either. "That's about the sixth or seventh time this year," he said. "And there will be many more." Is it difficult to do? "No it's very, very easy. It's a wonderful feeling. It gets to you when you are putting like shit all the time."

Cometh the hour

While the exposed galleries were mighty relieved that they did not have to take cover from David Duval's errant shots yesterday, there was pity for the 2001 Open champion who had to withdraw before the first round with a back sprain. It must be doubted if Duval, whose game has gone AWOL since his triumph at Lytham St Annes, will be back in the foreseeable future, if at all. At least it was good news for Darren Griffiths, the fifth reserve from Watford who was only told that he was playing an hour before his 7.36am tee-off time. "I came to the course at 6am and was told that I should warm up in case," said Griffiths. In the circumstances a four-over par 75, that included an eight on the sixth, was not too disastrous.

An unwanted birdie

Maybe that's why the golfers all wear caps - to protect them against killer seagulls. One vicious creature spent all day swooping down on the crowds making their way along South Beach Road to the course. And it was no laughing matter, as one poor old lady actually had blood drawn by the gull. "I came here expecting to see birdies," said one chap who was seen running down the street with a jumper over his head in an effort to escape the dive-bomber. "But not flying straight towards my bloody face."

Dad's security army

Not since the Home Guard trawled British beaches for German craft have so many sinister-looking people patrolled the sands. Security guards and police officers were out in force on Troon beach yesterday to prevent anybody from sneaking into The Open without paying. The beach is open to the public throughout the championship, but one man on the rocks near the second tee was asked to move along yesterday simply for being too noisy.

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