The unhappy hackers

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The Independent Online
Q. Which golfer has played the most strokes at a hole in a professional or amateur tournament?

A. To find the worst performance at a single hole in a competitive event it is necessary to go back to 1912, when a player whose name is lost to history shot 166 at the 130yd 16th in the qualifying round of the Shawnee Invitational for Ladies at Shawnee-on-Delaware, Pennsylvania.

The hapless woman's tee shot went into the Binniekill River; the ball floated, and she put out in a rowing boat with her husband. They retrieved the ball a mile and a half downstream, and she played through a forest on the way back. Perhaps even this display was exceeded in a tournament at Peacehaven, in Sussex, in 1890, when one AJ Lewis took 156 putts on one hole. He still failed to hole out.

The highest score for a single hole in the Open Championship is 21, by a player in the inaugural tournament at Prestwick in 1860. Double figures even once appeared on the winning card, when Willie Fernie (1851- 1924) shot 10 at Musselburgh, Lothian, in 1883.

As far as the highest score for a complete round is concerned, the record has to belong to Chevalier von Cittern, who went round in 316 (an average 17.55 shots per hole) at Biarritz in 1888. Even Steven Ward did better, when he shot 222 at the Pecos Course, Reeves County, Texas, in 1976. And he was only three years old. - Miss K Brown, London W10

Q. West Bromwich Albion must be sick of Stoke City after the recent 1-0 defeat by the Potters. Since beating Stoke 6-0 on 18 December 1988 at the Hawthorns, West Bromwich have failed to beat Stoke in any of the next 13 meetings. Can any other club justify the title "The mother of all bogy teams"?

A. Spurs were Aston Villa's bogey team for many years. On 20 February 1946, Tottenham won 3-0 at home. The clubs did not meet again until 30 September 1950 in a First Division match at Villa Park when Spurs won 3-2. In the next nine seasons the 18 matches between the clubs resulted in 14 wins for Spurs and four draws.

Villa spent the 1959-60 season in the Second Division, but when they returned to the First the following year, their lack of success against Tottenham continued. In the next two seasons they met five times, Spurs winning four and drawing one. Villa finally broke the sequence when they won 2-1 at home on 20 August 1962. It ended a run which produced the following record for Spurs: P24 W19 D5 L0 F61 A23. - Wilfred Morgan, Birmingham


Q. What is the largest or most significant sporting event to have taken place on Christmas Day? - Hazel Thomas, Rainham, Kent

Q. Up to last weekend, Manchester City had scored only nine goals in their first 17 games of the season, yet managed to accumulate 15 points. If this ratio (of 1.67pts per goal) continues to the end of the season, will it constitute a record? - Adrian Brodkin, London N2

Q. In a recent FA Cup replay between Walsall and Torquay six goals were scored in extra time, of which Walsall put away five to win 8-4. Are these records? - Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby

If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a question of your own, write to: Q & A, Sports Desk, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL.

Fax: 0171-293 2894