The Brian Viner Interview: Legend looks back on his triumph at Royal Birkdale 50 years ago this week that helped propel the game into an international era
Colin Montgomerie is now the proud owner of a pair of lederhosen, but what he really wants is a place in next month's Open Championship.
Former major winners Jose Maria Olazabal and Michael Campbell will be among 288 players trying for just 12 places in The Open at the final qualifying competition next Tuesday.
Not being one to brag – mainly because I've never had much to brag about – I find it difficult to recount my experience on the Old Course at St Andrews last week without a note of triumphalism creeping in.
Scotland has benefited hugely from a number of American ladies, married to Scots, who have not only been generous philanthropists to a range of worthwhile causes but who have brought forthright intelligence and opinions to the life of Scotland. One such was the environmental campaigner and charity patron Sally Connally Hardie. She was on the council of the National Trust for Scotland from 1978 to 1985 (as was I from 1976-81), and she served on its executive from 1985-95. She was one of the first to argue for the Trust's role in maintaining pristine wilderness areas, such as Balmacara, Glencoe and Knoydart. One of her heroes was the Scottish-born conservationist John Muir, a man who was a legend in the United States but hardly known in Britain, who had pioneered the idea of preserving wilderness areas and established the concept of national parks in North America.
The enduring British fascination with life above and below stairs gets another stoking from Sunday, with ITV's transmission of Downton Abbey, a seven-part drama set in a grand country house just before the First World War and naturally starring, in the regrettable absence of Dame Judi, Dame Maggie Smith.
Unfancied South African refuses to buckle as Casey's challenge falls flat on final day
Home hope faces final day of destiny after closing gap on leader Oosthuizen
Outsider manages to shoulder the burdens of history and expectation to stay in contention on a testing evening
The theme this week is a famous Second World War flying ace, and you lot at the back can keep those remarks about playing better when legless and stumping round the course to yourselves. Recently I played in the RAF Club's golf day at Sonning (my father was in the force) and, predictably, failed to get off the ground (figuratively and pretty often literally) in the morning's individual competition.
There had been much pre-Open griping and growling from the players about the powers-that-be at St Andrews daring to interfere with the famous 17th Road Hole, which they had extended by 40 yards in an attempt to tame today's longer hitters.
'Do I feel sorry for Tom after last year? No. He's lifted that Jug five times'
Former champion picks in-form Englishman and Westwood as main hopes for the Open
Change of club reveals unsettled mind of the fallen conqueror of the Old Course