Having sworn off Sergio for life, the Rover yesterday placed his annual British Open bets on Ernie Els (12-1), Jim Furyk (22-1), Geoff Ogilvy (50-1), Colin Montgomerie (50-1) and Sean O'Hair (125-1). Garcia (26-1), who has stolen almost as much money from the Rover as Uncle Sam over the years, is now near-certain to hoist the claret jug Sunday.
•In researching the similarities between Montgomerie and fellow career major bridesmaid Lighthorse Harry Cooper, the Rover came across a slew of fascinating tidbits. His favorite involved the origin of Cooper's nickname, which was apparently given to him by famed sportswriter Damon Runyon when Cooper won the 1926 Los Angeles Open, playing the final round in under two hours and 30 minutes. The best part of the story is a line in Runyon's copy discussing Cooper's caddie, who is described as "laboring to the finish behind his sprinting master beneath a bag carrying some 26 clubs." The USGA did not adopt the 14-club rule until 1939.
•The quote of the day comes courtesy of another golf writing legend, Dan Jenkins. When asked what he thought of the nasty weather (low 50s and drizzling rain) and similarly forbidding forecast, Jenkins replied immediately: "I hope this is the nicest day of the week. I like to see these [players] punished for making so much money."