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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 July 2006, 12:56 GMT 13:56 UK
Open diary
By Matt Slater and Rob Hodgetts
BBC Sport at Hoylake


So here we are, at the business end of the week, and it is time for the Royal Order of Golf Editors and Reporters to dish out some ribbons.

The Royal and Ancient have a large silver pot to hand out, we have the Rogers.

Here are our inaugural winners.

Jim Furyk
Furyk's bravery at the 4th on Friday earned him one of our awards

Best shot: Tiger Woods' 200-yard eagle at the 14th might have been the highlights package pick of Friday, if not the whole week, but there was actually a better shot played that day. Jim Furyk's putt out of a horrible lie in a greenside bunker at the 4th was, in his own words, a "one in a hundred" effort. He even had to ask his caddie if he was "nuts" for attempting it.

Most vital headgear: The baseball cap worn by Furyk. He should glue it to his head because the moment he takes it off he is transformed from looking like an archetypal American golfer to looking like somebody's dad in a bad shirt and C&A slacks.

Tiger's best shot: The pigeon that strategically hit Nick Faldo.

Sandy Lyle
Lyle spends more time in the Hoylake sand

Worst shot: We're tempted to give it to Graeme McDowell for his airshot from the rough on Friday, but we have a soft spot for the Ulsterman as he is not above mixing with the great fake-tanned in Hoylake's hostelries. So we're going to give it to Sandy Lyle, another diary favourite, but mainly because we haven't mentioned him yet. The Scot carved his drive at the 12th over the fence and on to the beach - despite the fact the hole dog-legs inland.

Best spectator: Impossible to pick one, they've all been good. Royal Liverpool promised they would come in their droves and they have. OK, some may have annoyed Tiger's caddie cum minder Steve Williams with their desire to get a picture of Woods as their mobile phone wallpaper but they have provided great entertainment and enthusiastic support for all the players all week.

"Yo Blair" award for Anglo-American relations: Our Old World cynicism is steering us towards giving it to either the Washington Times' "Rover" for his poison "Postcards from Liverpool" or Sports Illustrated's Open blog for wondering how we ran the world for so long but can't now air condition his room, but we're in a more generous mood. So we're going to hand it to Scott Verplank ("I love this tournament, it's closer to what golf is supposed to be") for so completely getting what the Open and links golf is all about.

Tin Cup moment: Long John Daly's crash-and-burn to miss the cut at the 18th. The Cavern Club crooner needed only a bogey to make the weekend but put his drive into the hospitality tent and his fairway wood into the crowd. A triple-bogey eight ensued.

Best Hoyckle: Saturday's "Never mind the knee, Ernie lad, give it some!" deserves a mention but the winner for us is still Friday's advice to Kenneth Ferrie (across the Mersey) as he headed towards the clubhouse nursing a bad back: "Hey Kenneth, the beer tent is this way, la!"

Angel Cabrera
Cabrera - not as old as one reporter thinks he is

Stupidest question: Journalist to Angel Cabrera - "Do you have any memories of (fellow Argentine) Roberto de Vicenzo winning at Hoylake, and will they inspire you?" Cabrera to journalist - "I'm 35 and it happened 39 years ago, so no, I don't remember very much."

Best question: Gary Lineker to Cabrera - "Angel, estas contento con tu partido de hoy?" Muy bueno, Gary, muy bueno.

Worst strides - bar Ian Poulter: Even considering the Englishman for this award is a bit like machine-gunning big, fat trout in a very small bucket, or betting on Tiger to win majors - it's just not sport. So we're going to give it to every American wearing beige chinos, which is nearly all the Americans here. There are plenty of more fashionable choices in the pro shop these days without going all Ian "I wouldn't put the stag in that on a Caddyshack-themed stag do" Poulter on us.

Most grateful: Fred Funk, who on seeing Australian Ben Bunny arrive at the practice range, walked over and said: "I just want to say thanks very much for relieving me of the silliest name in golf."

Best outfit: This award has been settled by the two WAG-ettes standing behind the 16th green on Saturday as Sergio Garcia approached. The one that was more credibly blonde finished sending her text message, looked up and said, "Eee look, he's matched his hat, shirt, trousers, belt and shoes. That's sound!" And indeed Sergio did look good. Kind of a Kid from Degrassi Street meets the Bad News Bears.

Comeback kids: Kids might be the wrong word to use here but we were delighted to see Seve Ballesteros and our new friend Warren Bladon back in the Open again. Neither made the cut but the Spanish maestro, playing his first Open for five years at the age of 49, still showed more imagination around the green in his last nine holes than most current identikit pros will show in a lifetime. And Bladon, back for his first Open since 1997, just had a blast.

Nick Faldo with son Matthew
Nick and Matthew Faldo keeping things in the family

Best innovation: A close-run thing this one as the BBC New Toys department outdid themselves this year with the cameraman on electric skateboard device that delighted Phil Mickelson ("Do a 360! Cool!"), but we're going to give it to this week's must-have accessory - a teenage son on your bag. Faldo had his boy Matthew carrying his clubs, while 15-year-old Baldomero "looped" for his dad Seve.

The lifetime achievement Roger: Only one contender here, Tom Watson. The Kansas City Kid would be a contender for this any year as he has won the tournament five times, but at Hoylake this week the 56-year-old has once again "clocked" his mileage to make the cut with a shot to spare. It is, in fact, the third straight time he has made the weekend at the Open since 2003 (he missed the event in 2004). Tom, you're a legend.

Nicest man in golf: Since posing the question "who is golf's nicest man?" earlier this week, we've noticed a sea change in the niceness of the average golfer. Nice is the new black - it's now cool to be nice. Contenders for this award include the aforementioned Warren Bladon (though we're not sure how "in golf" he is), Sergio Garcia and Graeme McDowell. And nobody in Britain has better manners than David Howell. But we're going to give this award to the man that started it all, Tom Watson. It's a double for the man from Missouri. The gesture that swung it for him was giving English golfer John Bickerton, whose mother has motor neurone disease, a signed flag for a charity auction. Nice.

Best bodyguard: He might be world number two to Tiger's number one but Phil Mickelson's wife Amy has a much scarier-looking bodyguard than Mrs Woods does. The Mickelson "beef" dresses in golf gear that fools nobody - he is effectively two walking biceps with Green Beret tattoos. His name is Chuck (probably) but he seems a nice chap, happy to let Amy chat to all and sundry as she follows hubby around Hoylake. Elin Woods, meanwhile, was spotted with just her twin sister Josefin and what can only be described as a preppy-looking, sweater-draped-round-neck, all-American college guy. Albeit with slightly bigger muscles than ours.


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