Open Diary: Family ties are enough to make a grown hack cry

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Tears are usually only ever seen from the hard-bitten press corps when bets go down or players they don't know the first thing about win The Open. But for Steve Millar of the Daily Star Sunday there has been emotion of a more touching nature this week. Indeed, the tears that flooded out of the golf hack when he discovered his son Anthony had qualified to play in his first Open may just be the start of the waterworks.

Tears are usually only ever seen from the hard-bitten press corps when bets go down or players they don't know the first thing about win The Open. But for Steve Millar of the Daily Star Sunday there has been emotion of a more touching nature this week. Indeed, the tears that flooded out of the golf hack when he discovered his son Anthony had qualified to play in his first Open may just be the start of the waterworks.

If things work out for the 26-year-old, who has come from nowhere - or at least the PGA North Region circuit - then Millar Snr could even be in the unique position of having to interview his own son - "Sorry dad but you'll have to go through my agent."

"He would do that as well, the little bugger," said Steve who confessed that since Anthony first emerged from local final qualifying at Glasgow Gailes on Sunday, he hasn't had time to think. "It's all been a whirl," he said. "We've had radio stations ringing us up, television stations, newspapers. It's been too much to handle - and that's from someone like me who knows the media."

It even made him miss his first Open deadline. "The excitement of getting up there and see my son - who has worked so hard without much reward - actually play in the Open made me so tense that I stopped to have a calming pint. Unfortunately it calmed me down so much that I missed my bloody connection. I've now a three-hour wait until the next one," said Millar from Warrington station.

For those looking for this year's Ben Curtis to have a bet on, go no further than Takashi Kamiyama. Like Curtis at Sandwich last year, Kamiyama was the first to register here this week - and the similarities do not end there. Like Curtis, Kamiyama is a first-year pro and like Curtis (396) Kamiyama (303) goes into the Open with a world ranking in the 300s. He is staying in a local B&B, is unheard-of outside his own golfing community and is using a local caddy. Should he win, the payout will not be quite as substantial as with Curtis. Kamiyama is 300-1 while Curtis was 750-1. Bookies do not make the same mistake twice.

Things are looking up for David Duval, the 2001 Open champion who has barely hit a straight shot since. He's already done better than at last month's US Open when he returned after a seven-month break. Yesterday, Duval completed his first practice hole without hitting a member of the gallery as he did at Shinnecock Hills. Perhaps the former world No 1 can expect more than at the US, when he finished his two rounds in 24 over. Ouch.

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