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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 July 2007, 08:46 GMT 09:46 UK
Open Diary
By Matt Slater and Rob Hodgetts
BBC Sport at Carnoustie


Just when Swindon's David Howell thought he had finally escaped the clutches of the Open diary for another year (see Wednesday's and Saturday's diaries) - we collared him again.

David Howell
Howell just can't get enough of the Diary team

"David, what's the best thing about Swindon?" we asked in one of our admittedly less earnest interviewer voices.

"Oh blimey, there's a good question," replied the nicest man in golf. "How about Broome Manor Golf Club, my old haunt. It's a very good municipal golf club right in the heart of the town. That's not a bad thing to have".

"Yes, very good, but away from golf?"

"It's surrounded by some lovely places."

"And why, when it's England's Luke Donald or England's Paul Casey, is it always Swindon's David Howell?"


"I don't know, another good question (he's so nice). If you do find out the answer, can you let me know? I'm very happy to be known as Swindon's David Howell. It's fine by me."

Do you reckon he's twigged he's being stalked yet?


Way back when, the R&A used to stage these things on Thursday and Friday, two rounds a day, so that the "professionals" could be back where they belonged - their club's pro shop - on Saturday.

There are countless stories of Open champions returning to their clubs expecting a welcoming committee, only to be asked: "Oh hello, haven't seen you about the place for a bit. How are you getting on with re-gripping those clubs I left with you last week?"

Or: "I really think it's time I got the good lady in for some lessons. Are you free this afternoon?"

Jon Bevan, the pro at Wessex Golf Centre in Weymouth, completed a wonderful four days at Carnoustie on Sunday with his best round of the tournament, a one-over 72.

Jon Bevan
Bevan has enjoyed his four rounds at Carnoustie

"I've had the chance to walk with giants this week," said the 40-year-old, who won the local qualifying tournament at Downfield to reach his third Open.

"There is nowhere else in the world I would rather be right now than here on a Sunday in the greatest golf tournament in the world in the rain."

Bevan, the shortest hitter in the field, was in the first group out on Sunday. He made the cut on the number but struggled to a 79 in his third round. That left him in last place, not that he was overly bothered - the 9,500 cheque for coming last here would take a lot of lessons at the golf centre.

His 72, which featured an eagle at the 14th ("I hooked my rescue club but I think it bounced over the bunker and rolled down the bank to the green"), will take him a few places higher in the leaderboard and closer to a 10K payday.

"It will certainly pay a few bills but that's not really the point. I'm here living the dream, doing what I have always wanted to do," said the 19-year professional, who missed the cut in his previous visits to the Open in 1999 and 2006.

"And I'll be back again next year, and the year after. In fact, I'll keep trying to qualify until (R&A boss) Peter Dawson says, 'I think that's your lot, Jon'."

But in the meantime it's back to the day job. So if you're in the Weymouth area this week you could do a lot worse than popping in for 30 minutes on the range with Bevan at a very reasonable 20.

He'll even re-grip your wife's putter, Colonel, if you tip him a shilling.


Reports our TV luvvie mate Stuart Roach

If those of you listening to BBC Sport interactive's red button commentary are trying to place the familiar tones of Kim Thomas, then the Diary can put you out of your misery.

It might be from an interview or two the former tour pro has given, or a reminder for anyone who ever visited Stoke Poges and Forest of Arden golf clubs when Kim was the professional there.

But as you sit and ponder the familiarity over your breakfast cereal this morning, pour yourself a bowl of Sugar Puffs and you'll have your answer.

Kim used to do a spot of moonlighting by acting as understudy to the Honey Monster, the iconic giant orange fluffy beast that outshone the Kellogs cockerel in the breakfast cereal wars of the eighties.

"A friend of mine played the Honey Monster character for many years; he was also a professional golfer but I have promised never to reveal his identity!" said Kim.

"When he was unavailable for adverts or appearances, they needed someone the same size and who could replicate the voice, and I used to get quite a few chances to stand in.

"People still ask me about it and ask me to do the voice. I do it, but it leaves me with a sore throat these days."

With that, as if to eliminate any doubts I may have, Kim flicks up his arms, hunches his shoulders and growls one of the leading catchprases of the era: "tell 'em about the honey, mummy".

Fairly similar to Elin Woods' favourite catchphrase when her husband arrives home with another trophy: "Tell me about the money, honey!"


On Friday we told you about the two strapping lads that Phil Mickelson pays to accompany his wife Amy around the golf course. Last night we met one of them.

"Guns", as we like to call him, has not followed his boss home and is "working" this weekend for PGA Tour journeyman Brett Quigley, who was also in Carnoustie's Kinloch Arms on Saturday night.

The work "Guns" was doing for Quigley appeared to be limited to drinking Corona with him, which is nice work if you can get it. Although things were getting a bit tasty in the public bar next door, so perhaps Quiggers wanted a bit more muscle in case it really kicked off.

"Guns", who was sporting his trademark tight, short-sleeved shirt to reveal enormous Green Berets tattoo and head-cracking biceps, told the diary that Mickelson was not a happy camper after his failure to make the cut.

He also thought that "Lefty" had "lost his swing during the final round at Loch Lomond and never got it back".

If you want to hear more of his swing thoughts and views on personal security, you should get yourself to Loch Lomond next week as he is doing a seminar. He is actually a lovely chap and much less frightening without his sunglasses on.


America's Tom Lehman is not a fussy eater but he does appear to have food fads.

The outgoing US Ryder Cup captain has been a celebrated pizza lover over the years.

Tom Lehman
Pizzas fuelled Lehman during his Open win in 1996

At St Andrews two years ago he visited a local pizza parlour every night of Open week, while in 1996 when he won the Open at Royal Lytham, Lehman had a pizza named after him (the "Lehman", obviously) after regular visits to a joint in St Annes.

But when diary caught up with him at Carnoustie, the thoroughly likeable Lehman seemed to be hinting at a dimming of the pizza fires.

He confessed to not having been out once since he's been here, despite a rash of his fellow Americans frequenting Carnoustie's Titanic Pizza Company (see Saturday's diary).

"Really, but you're a noted pizza connoisseur," we asked, worried.

"My son," he insisted. "Is a pizza lover."

"Oh. So what do you like about coming over to the Open?"

"You can find some great Indian restaurants," he said. "In America, I couldn't even tell you where to get Indian food, I wouldn't have a clue. I don't even know of a restaurant.

"And the pubs are the place to go. I enjoy sampling your beer, but when I'm playing golf there's no drinking. The repercussions sometimes aren't too pretty."

"But come on Tom, we know you love pizza. What's your favourite topping?"

"I like it spicy," he fired back, a renewed sparkle dancing in his blue eyes. "I like pepperoni with some extra little jalapeno peppers, or some spicy red peppers you know, just to give it a little bit of a kick."

You can take the man out of the pizza, but you can't take the pizza out of, that's no right, is it?

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