The Open Diary: Wife Brenda goes extra mile for 'Calc'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Any golfing wives with reasons to not entirely trust their husband – and, rumour has it, there are one or two – might do worse than following the example of Brenda Calcavecchia. If you want to know where they are at all times, be there at all times. Even when they are at the office and even when you've broken your foot and don't feel much like lugging around their 40lb bag.

Brenda has become well known to the Open crowds as the faithful servant to Mark, the rotund 1989 champion. Where hubby goes, she follows, supplying the clubs and advice. "I walk every 18 holes with him anyway," she says. "Why don't I just caddy?"

It is a partnership which is running thrillingly smoothly this year, as Calc heads into the third round riding high on seven-under. He was the first to tee off yesterday – at the ungodly hour of 6.30am – and after a 67 explained how Brenda keeps a check on one of his favourite pastimes.

"I like pretty much all Scottish beer," said the 50-year-old, who also plays in next week's Senior Open at Carnoustie. "I stopped at The Dunvegan just up the road from the course for a few early ones last night. I only had a couple, but every now and then my wife monitors my intake. I'm allowed to drink plenty on Sundays and Mondays."

Not that this working relationship has always been about the loving, honouring or obeying. A few years ago they had a spat which saw Brenda quit the bag mid-tournament and Calc forced to employ a local caddie. He has a famous short fuse and the slightest thing throws him off course. Perhaps this is why Brenda did not even tell him she had broken her foot at last year's Open.

It was on the ninth during the second round at Turnberry when Brenda stepped in a hole and heard a crack. She was in agony, but Calcavecchia was enjoying a run of birdies which took him to within a stroke of the halfway lead. So she grunted under her breath and struggled on. That night she didn't know what to do.

"I called my Mom and said, 'I think I broke my foot', remembers Brenda. "She said, 'You can't say anything because he's doing great'. So I just tied my shoelace up extra tight and sucked it up for the next two rounds."

Only when Calcavecchia finished in 27th place did Brenda remove her shoe and tell him: "Hey, by the way, I broke my foot – on Friday." Now there's love for you.

Weather set fair for Bubka

While Americans are often depicted as being adverse to what they call "Scottish weather", the image is not universally fair. Take Bob Bubka, the famous golf commentator. Yesterday he told his listeners exactly what he thought about anybody daring to moan about the conditions. "If you don't like golf at St Andrews you have no right to be alive," he said. Quite.

Louis wins the name game

The transcripts in the media centre are very handy for journalists who don't get a chance to attend every interview. But sometimes you just have to be there. As the leader's press conferences proves. So read the transcript: Q Before we start how do you pronounce your name?

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Louis Oosthuizen.

Delay puts wind up 'Lefty'

As Phil Mickelson was signing for his hard-earned 71 yesterday so the hooter went for the suspension. Which may or may not have made him happy. He wasn't prepared to say, but did recall the 2003 Open at Sandwich where the Royal and Ancient officials decided against interrupting play. "It moved on me six times on one putting green as I was addressing it," he said. "Twice I had actually put my club behind it and was penalised [one shot] each time." But still the siren didn't come. For Mickelson, seven years on it came at the wrong time.