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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 July, 2003, 08:55 GMT 09:55 UK
Thursday's Open diary
By Matthew Slater
BBC Sport at the Open

Dougie Montgomerie

Overheard at the practice ground: "Have you ever seen Dougie Donnelly and Colin Montgomerie at the same time?"

Ah, the magic of television - it's all smoke and mirrors.

Hardest working man in show business

Iain Pyman gets the 132nd Open championship underway
Iain Pyman had the honour of teeing off at 0630 BST
As "I was there" moments at the Open go, there are few that can compare with witnessing the first drive of the championship.

This year's honour went to England's Iain Pyman and it was a classic of its kind.

A few confident practice swings - the second was a peach - a slightly less confident approach to the ball and lots of decidedly unconfident fidgeting over the ball before backing off and doing the same thing all over again.

The end result of all that nervous energy was, unsurprisingly, an ugly push into the rough and a bogey start.

But the real joy of that first drive is not watching a professional suffer the same indignities as us hackers do - although that is fairly enjoyable - it is watching official starter Ivor Robson do what he does best.

This year is the 132nd edition of the world's greatest golf event and as far as anybody knows Robson has announced the games at all of them.

Like all the best masters of ceremonies, Robson knows that the real stars of the show are the players. But that has not stopped the impeccably attired announcer from attracting a cult following - well, I like him.

Wearing golf's second most famous green jacket, Robson's delivery never changes - "On the tee, Iain Pyman!"

And every one of the 156 players - apart from the defending champion - will get the same understated introduction.

Robson will be out there on the first tee, without breaks for food, water or the call of nature, from 0630 to 1606. And regardless of the weather, he never wears waterproof clothing.

Ivor, we're not worthy.

Character watch

Duffy Waldorf is famed for his sartorial elegance
Duffy Waldorf is famed for his sartorial elegance
Pro wrestling aside, most sports are currently undergoing a "character" crisis.

Golf, which can at times look like lots of men in sensible slacks and baseball caps, is no different. The charming, wacky and positively weird are essential for the health of the game.

Whether there are actually fewer of these knockabout types around is debatable, but there is no denying that there is a perception that it has all got a bit "samey".

So with that in mind, this diary will endeavour over the next few days to celebrate those who dare to be different.

England's Ian Poulter, the European Tour's number one exponent of the "hair don't" approach to fame, has made an early bid for diary hero status by admitting that he tried to get his barnet dyed claret - as in the jug, in case you were wondering.

Sadly, Sandwich's hairdressers - Michelle and Tracy - were busy, so Poulter has had to settle for his Arsenal red.

I know, getting a bit of colour in your hair doesn't make you David Beckham - sorry, bad example - but it's a start.

And Thursday's dream pairing of Jesper "volcano dust" Parnevik and Duffy "Hawaii-Five-O" Waldorf are expected to throw up some slightly larger crumbs of character.

Character campaign takes off

The diary speaks, large booze companies listen.

No sooner had this humble organ started a search for golf's next generation of "characters", than Famous Grouse, the sponsors of the Open's "19th hole", had launched a poll to discover the "Personality Player of the Open 2003".

Five hundred random visitors to the 19th hole will be asked to vote for players under the following criteria: on-course joie de vie, personal panache, fashion flair and charisma/connection with the crowd.

The winner will be decided on Sunday and sent a gallon bottle of Famous Grouse whisky.

I can't help feeling that it would be far more sensible to send all the players a large bottle of booze before, not after, the event. There are "characters" all over Britain who swear by it.

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