Tardy Torrance races to first tee

Sam Torrance ambled on to the practice putting green in preparation for the first round of the Wales Open here in Newport when Jennie Janes, the tournament secretary, reminded him that, if he did not get his skates on, he would miss his tee time.

"She was screaming at me that I had 40 seconds to get to the first tee," said Europe's Ryder Cup captain who was due off at 1.10pm. "I did a Colin Jackson over the fence, ran to the tee and made it with about 10 seconds to spare."

Had Torrance been later, he would have had a two-stroke penalty or even been disqualified. As it was, he proceeded to follow route 66, and at six under par is only a stroke behind the South African James Kingston and Australia's Richard Green.

"It was ridiculous," Torrance added. "My start time in the pro-am was 1.30pm, and I just had it in my mind that that was my tee time in the first round. My caddie thought the same. I was completely shocked. I had to run to the tee and my heart was thumping. It is the only time in my career that I've ever stood on the first tee hoping to see people in front of me."

Torrance had a flawless round, going out in 33, coming home in 33. "I've been on a health diet for two years, and I'm in pretty good shape," he said. He needed to be.

Few South Africans, let alone modern day Europeans, have drunk from the old silver claret jug at the end of an Open Championship, but Kingston is an exception. In this game, sometimes it is not what you know, but who you know.

At Muirfield last month, Kingston had an incredible journey, with stops from the sublime to the ridiculous and back. The leading qualifier at Gullane, Kingston bombed in the Open, missing the halfway cut by some distance.

Instead of returning home, he stayed at Muirfield, and followed the fortunes of Ernie Els, a contemporary, of sorts, in South Africa. "I was there," Kingston said, sounding like a Rustenberg version of Max Boyce. "I walked around with Ernie, supported him, and also had a few sips out of the claret jug. I've played a lot of amateur and professional golf with him. It was wonderful to see him win that week."

There is a world of difference between Els and Kingston. The latter has won tournaments in Asia but is not a household name in either Kingston, Surrey, or Kingston, Jamaica. Having received an invitation to the Wales Open, he led with a 65 in the first round, seven under, until being caught by Green. Kingston's timing was immaculate. As he walked off the 18th with a new course record – seven birdies, no bogeys – Celtic Manor was hit by heavy rain. Torrance's timing was not nearly as impressive, although his scoring was.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea