- The Washington Times - Friday, July 17, 2009

INSIDE THE BRITISH OPEN

LEADER BOARD

Elders [up]

Board defined by aging champions Watson (59), O’Meara (52), Lehman (50) and Calcavecchia (49)

Fashion [down]

Ian Poulter was sartorial shocker before John Daly turned up in technicolor lime

Weather [up]

Windless, warm conditions left Turnberry toothless

Tiger [down]

Given the benign day, opening 71 was worst major performance this season

Tantrums [up]

Tiger threw a club (No. 9) and dropped a season’s worth of profanity

QUOTABLE

“Don’t ask me to twit or tweet. I don’t tweet.”

- Tom Watson, who revealed he draws the technological line at texting

“I took a few more Aleve, had a couple of beers and got on a plane. Several more beers went flowing down, and the next thing you know we were landing. I felt pretty good on Monday.”

- 1989 British Open champion Mark Calcavecchia, who considered withdrawing after battling back spasms during the final round of last week’s John Deere Classic

BY THE NUMBERS

9 Shot by Anthony Kim on Turnberry’s second hole, a rather innocuous 428-yard par-4. To his credit, the 24-year-old maintained his composure after the quintuple bogey, which included an extended stay in one of Turnberry’s daunting stacked-sod bunkers, fighting to a 73 that gives him a sporting chance to survive the cut.

1966 Was the year 54-year-old Sam Snead led the PGA Championship at Firestone after the first and second rounds before fading on the weekend to finish tied for sixth. In Thursday’s opening round, 59-year-old Tom Watson nearly trumped Snead’s mark as the oldest to lead a major championship since World War II.

69.33 Scoring average at Turnberry for Tom Watson in 21 competitive rounds at the Ayrshire links during British and Senior British Open play.

POSTCARD FROM TURNBERRY

Memo to those considering attending a future British Open: Do not choose one at Turnberry. While the course is superb and the scenery unmatched, Turnberry is the only course on the rota without a legitimate adjoining town. No town means no pub, and no pub means the absence of the focal point of British nightlife. One of the most charming elements of attending a British Open is gathering at the local watering hole for a post-round chat with fans, media, caddies and even players. No such local rallying point exists at Turnberry, where the grand hotel is off limits to all but select players and the fabulously wealthy. The nearest town (Maidens, 1.5 miles north) has no pub and only two stuffy restaurants. …

Just to give you some idea how subdued Turnberry is after dark, the Rover is staying in Maidens at an establishment that is equal parts hotel and retirement home. When the Rover arrives at the rest home at 8:30 or so each evening, only the sheep are still awake.

- Barker Davis

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