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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 July, 2005, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Open diary
By Our team at St Andrews

Doyle envy

Craig Doyle
Grandstand presenter Doyle has proved a big hitter in Scotland this week
The Claret Jug, 720,000 winner's cheque and Silver Medal for top amateur are not the only prizes on offer here on Sunday.

Over in the tented village, St Andrews' big guns have been flexing their muscles at the Nike driving range all week.

A computer simulation of the Old Course's famous 18th hole is the target and prizes are given for the longest wallop.

Leading, with only an hour or so to go, is David Ferreira on 327 yards. Others to have a bash include cricketer Darren Lehman and diary stalwart Craig Doyle.

The Nike staff mumbled pleasant things about Lehman's effort, but were less complimentary about Doyle's length. They're just jealous, Craig.

Hooked on slices
Lehman enjoys a steady diet of deep-fried dough

The golf world hasn't really been the same since Tiger Woods burst on to the scene.

Forced to respond to his talent and work ethic, the rest have copied much of Tiger's regime - they lift weights, practice yoga, consult sports psychologists and eat well.

Well, most of the rest. Tom Lehman has eaten pizza from St Andrews' One-O-One Connection every night of Open week.

But seasoned Lehman watchers will know that this is hardly surprising - the US Ryder Cup captain is pizza potty.

At Royal Lytham in 1996, the year he won the Open, Lehman's deep-pan habit was fuelled by Italian restaurant Tiggis in nearby St Annes.

And such was their gratitude for the gourmand golfer that they created the "Lehman" pizza.

Ian Thomson, frier-in-chief at the "101", wouldn't reveal what Lehman likes on his 12" takeaway special and failed to either confirm or deny rumours that a "Lehman" would be making its way on to his menu.

By royal approval

The diary team were kicking themselves - well, each other - on Saturday for not finding "101" earlier - the diary would have written itself most days.

Still reeling from the revelations about the 1996 Open champion's pizza habit, we then learned that Thomson had just made a delivery to the Old Course Hotel.

Apparently, a "big name" couldn't find anything he wanted on the room service menu at the 350-a-night hotel.

Well, if it's good enough for the "future king of England," it's good enough for...

Camera cutaway kings

As tempting as it was to remain in the pizza palace all night, the diary team had people to meet, places to see, shapes to throw.

So it was off to The Gin House for a party hosted by Golf Punk, the mag for people who like to dress like shuffleboard players.

The hosts were still bathing in the glory of their beach stunt earlier in the day - a PR jape that led Ken Brown and Sam Torrance to muse about cross-dressing.

The lads are planning another West Sands spectacular for Sunday - think Caddyshack meets Saving Private Ryan.

And what's wrong with the BBC cabin anyway?

There are some shady deals going on down at the coolest caravan on the St Andrews practice ground.

Nothing sinister, you understand, it's just that the Oakley vehicle parked at the end of the range is where all the players want to be this week.

While the manufacturers' trucks do a tidy job for their clients during the week, the cool kids of the PGA tour would prefer to head for the reskinned 1969 Airstream trailer that sits right behind the not-quite-so-cool BBC Sport interactive production office.

"It's where everyone wants to come and chill," said Oakley marketing manager Stuart Morgan, referring to his Airstream, rather than our portakabin.

"We had Monty, Ian Poulter and Retief Goosen in the trailer earlier this week, just shooting the breeze over how cool the course was."

Men about town (part III)

Sporting celebs were like Zulus last night, there were thousands of them, everywhere.

Ian Millward
Millward has been watching the best in action at St Andrews

If it wasn't former Liverpool and Ireland defender Phil Babb running the door at The Gin House, it was Lions scrum-half Matt Dawson hiding under a baseball cap.

Gary Lineker was rumoured to be in about three places at once - a neat trick - while Craig Doyle was seen discussing holiday ideas with punters on South Street.

But the most surprising sighting of all was Wigan coach/Gordon Ramsay disciple Ian Millward. Big golf fan, apparently.

Mr Scissors

Picture by Richard Pinckey of Nikon
Jeremy Dale shows his skills with using two clubs at once

All the players at St Andrews this week are capable of sparkling golf, but only a few can do it when it really matters.

Trick shot golf is no different, as Jeremy Dale discovered when he attempted a record for his "scissor-hands" party piece.

"I can perform the stunt in my sleep but it was a lot harder when you're under pressure against the clock," said Dale.

But Dale isn't a tip for the 2006 World Trick Shot Championship for nothing, and he is now the proud holder of a new world record - 230 balls hit in just three minutes!

Rainmaker for hire

Matt Slater's summer shoe collection
A selection from the summer range

Those of you who have indulged us over the last week by reading our ramblings will know about the strange link between my feet and St Andrews' micro-climate.

Having brought only flip-flops with me, I was forced to buy trainers by the arrival of apocalyptic clouds, known as the Haar.

But as soon as the new shoes went on, the sun came out and stayed out.

So now, with many in the pack hoping for bad weather to disrupt Tiger's title hunt, I am willing to prostitute my feet to the highest bidder. Rain or shine, you decide.

Open diary - Saturday
16 Jul 05 |  Golf
Open diary - Friday
15 Jul 05 |  Golf
Open diary - Thursday
14 Jul 05 |  Golf
Open diary - Wednesday
13 Jul 05 |  Golf
Open diary - Tuesday
12 Jul 05 |  Golf

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