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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 July, 2005, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
Open diary - Saturday
By Our team at St Andrews

'Fur right!'

Dave Titcombe, 25, of Oxford
Orinoco helps out the stewards with litter-collecting duties at St Andrews
Turning up in fancy dress at golf tournaments hasn't quite reached cricket proportions yet - for the fans, that is. The players have been doing it for years.

Yes, there used to be the Jesper Parnevik pair, and Dougie Donnelly as Monty every year, but groups of sheiks or pirates are conspicuous by their absence.

So the diary would like to congratulate Dave Titcombe, 25, of Oxford.

The in-form Soren Hansen may beg to differ, but Dave was by far the hottest thing on the course in his Womble outfit.


It must be strange being Tiger Woods

There he is on the practice putting green, being stared at and whispered about by crowds five deep on every side. "He's smaller than he looks," mumbles one. "Doesn't smile much, does he?" ventures another.

Tiger Woods supporters make their point at St Andrews
Who is it you're supporting again?
Security goons stand in each corner, in menacing beige, as the megastar hits long putts in silence in the middle.

Whether he has the green to himself by accident or design is unclear but no-one else appears desperate to share the goldfish bowl.

Woods' gaze is fixed firmly on the floor as he goes about his business, not wavering when a monster 40ft one-hander drops and the crowd goes uncontrollably delirious.

Eventually Woods turns tail and heads off without a word, and his goon squad, caught on the hop, scramble to it, pointing this way and that and jabbering into radios.

The crowd are left to eat their ice creams, that they bought all by themselves, anonymously, as the slightly less imposing figure of Scott Verplank moves into view.

And a contemplative hush falls over the scene as they mull the big question: would I really want to be Tiger Woods?


You're supposed to haggle

Hard-nosed golf fans are readjusting to life without Jack Nicklaus by trying to cash in on his retirement.

Jack Nicklaus poses with the new 5 note
"Yours for 40."
No sooner had the legend's legions roared their approval down the 18th than the misty-eyed romantics turned money-mad rotters by heading straight to online auction site Ebay.

At the last count, 1643 heartless heretics were trying to flog their commemorative Nicklaus-emblazoned fivers, with the price for a single note nearing the 40 mark.

Bids for multiple sets were nudging 100, while some were content to make a couple of quid. But one hapless hypocrite was looking at a one pence loss.


Open toes scandal

Our journalist's shoes
The cheap trainers that prompted sunshine
Ernie, Phil, Veej and everybody else praying for a storm - it ain't going to happen, and it's my fault. The fate of my feet is linked to the weather gods.

Those who have been with us since the start - my mum, and Jeff and Vince on the boards - will recall the footwear fiasco.

It was a tawdry tale of poor packing - seven pairs of socks, one pair of flip-flops.

But Thursday's drizzle and a near tumble forced me to buy the cheapest - and whitest - running shoes in St Andrews. The sun hasn't stopped shining since.

Don't worry. The flip-flops are in my laptop bag - there's a pouch designed for that exact purpose - so if Tiger gets too comfy I'll put them on again.


Ruddy Walters

Jack, Tiger, Monty - there was no shortage of stories for the assembled scribes to get their teeth into on Friday.

So why was it so many of them were waiting on Australia's Euan Walters?

The Open debutant has missed 11 of 13 cuts this year, so what's one more weekend off amongst friends? Ah, but this time it could have been all so different.

With the fate of 10 others in the balance, including Tom Watson, Walters bogeyed the easiest hole, leaving the cut mark at one over. One too few for him.


The Golden Beer

Jack Nicklaus
It seemed as though all 50,000 of the fans at St Andrews were crammed around the 17th and 18th holes as Jack Nicklaus' farewell tour came to a close on Friday.

But the punters weren't the only ones hoping for a last look at the Golden Bear. The players were just as keen.

Ernie Els and Freddie Couples watched from their Old Course Hotel balconies, while others crowded into the garden.

But only one of them was suitably attired for spectating, beer in hand. Mark Calcavecchia, we salute you, sir.


New kid on the block

Don't say this diary isn't good to you. We've unearthed the name of a future Open champion from England, but you'll have to file this nugget away for 15 years or so.

While Jack Nicklaus was approaching the final few holes of his career, Joshua Hardy, 4, was spanking perfectly-proportioned drives on the adjacent Jubilee Course.

Little Joshua's swing, as sweet as the St Andrews skyline, derailed many a fan scurrying to catch a last glimpse of the Golden Bear.

But it's Nicklaus' pretender that Joshua models himself on. "I like whacking it, like Tiger Woods," said the Eastbourne wunderkind.




SEE ALSO
Tributes to Jack Nicklaus
15 Jul 05 |  Golf
Open diary - Friday
15 Jul 05 |  Golf
Open diary - Thursday
14 Jul 05 |  Golf
Open diary
13 Jul 05 |  Golf
Open diary
12 Jul 05 |  Golf



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