Ryder Cup afterglow

Stenson looks to spearhead Swedish revival

It was nice of the Ryder Cup to put in an appearance at Woburn Abbey on Wednesday evening for Ken Schofield's retirement party. Schofield is stepping down as executive director of the European Tour after 30 years, during which time Europe have beaten the Americans six times and tied once.

There were rather more members of the cup team at the Abbey than remain at the Heritage tournament today. Five did not enter, three withdrew with exhaustion, two missed the cut - Colin Montgomerie and Ian Poulter, none too chuffed since he is the Woburn touring professional - leaving only Padraig Harrington and David Howell.

Both enter the final round at two under, some way off the pace. You suspect an uproarious welcome awaits those team members at this week's AmEx World Championship at Mount Juliet, especially the Irish triumvirate, but here it has been more understated. "But it's been nice," Harrington said, "to receive those little rounds of applause for doing absolutely nothing."

Harrington needs to finish at least eighth to qualify for the HSBC World Match Play. The first prize is £1m and there is not even the consolation of the Million Dollar at Sun City as that week he is set to defend his Hong Kong Open title. Yet few golfers are less motivated by money.

Schofield's first office was at The Oval, and a painting by Jack Russell of the south London cricket ground was presented to him by Sir Alec and Eric Bedser on the players' behalf. They might have been trying to play at The Oval yesterday but there was no doubt here that the autumnal golfing season was underway.

Nordic invaders made their presence felt on the leaderboard with Henrik Stenson on top at 13 under, by a stroke from Patrik Sjoland and two from Simon Wakefield. Finland's Mikko Ilonen, the former British Amateur champ- ion, had the week's best round with a 65 to be 10 under. Graeme McDowell and Phillip Price, the overnight leaders, both struggled to 72s to stay at nine under, although McDowell had to birdie the last two holes to do so.

However dank and cold, the Duke's course is a magnificent trek through towering pines. It has produced many quality winners - Ian Woosnam finished with four birdies in the last six holes - although in recent times the championship course has been the Marquess, out of commission this week due to diseased greens. As befitting the older style, the Duke's needs pinpoint accuracy, and keeping a bogey off the card, as Wakefield did in his 67, is always notable.

The 30-year-old from Newcastle-under-Lyme has only once kept his card on the European Tour and, at 146th on the Order of Merit, needs a large cheque sharpish. A new fitness regime allowed him to concentrate despite a headache, and plenty of support from Trentham Park has also helped him.

Sjoland has not won for four years and said it was worrying not just that there was no Swede in the Ryder Cup team but that few of his countrymen are winning. Stenson won the 2001 Benson and Hedges International in his rookie year but remodelled his game completely with Pete Cowen.

Stenson is right-handed and trimmer but under a cap he disconcertingly resembles Phil Mickelson. The 28-year-old is a sturdy competitor and at The Belfry, as well as when winning three times on the Challenge Tour, he led from the front. "I played so poorly after I had that, I had to start again with my swing but hopefully I'm coming back stronger and better," he said.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions