- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 13, 2005

• The tabloid stunner of the day came courtesy of the Daily Mail, Jgirlfriend, Joanne Baldwin, under the luminous headline: “Monty takes his birdie to work.” Apparently, the 44-year-old Baldwin, two years Monty’s senior, is a mother of two and has not left her husband of 13 years, Nigel. Incredibly, ‘Jo,’ as she prefers to be called, has dated Monty since last Christmas yet still stays with Nigel on weeks when she doesn’t accompany the Scottish golfer on the road. That’s not a progressive relationship; it’s just plain perverse.

• One of the many unique things about St. Andrews is that every night after play is completed, the enormous expanse of fairway shared by Nos.1 and 18 reverts to its secondary function as a public strolling greensward offering access to the beach. One of the Rover’s favorite sights of the week thus far was that of a young boy scrambling across the 18th green without a second thought on his way back from an early-evening swim. Can you imagine what the greencoats would do to a patron who tramped across a green during Masters week?

• The Rover made his annual trek to Ladbrokes yesterday, laying each way (pays for top-five finish) bets on Sergio Garcia (20-1), Darren Clarke (25-1) and Lee Westwood (40-1), a small wager on Jack Nicklaus to make the cut (8-1), and a long shot win-only bet on Jose Maria Olazabal (80-1). The 39-year-old Spaniard was a scintillating pick for four reasons: (1) His notoriously wild driving shouldn’t hurt him much at St. Andrews; (2) he made it into the field when countryman Seve Ballesteros pulled out Monday; (3) two of his first three career wins came as a field alternate and (4) his first British Open appearance came in 1984 at St. Andrews … the same week that Ballesteros earned his second Open title. If good karma conspires to see JMO through this week, the Rover will remain in Scotland on a golf holiday next week.

Barker Davis

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