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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 July, 2003, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Sunday's Open diary
By Matthew Slater
BBC Sport at the Open

Spanish passion beats Swedish strides

Spain's Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia celebrates another award
It's prize-giving day at Royal St George's and the diary is desperate to get in on the act.

So before the comedy cardboard cheques are handed out - only kidding, they would never do anything quite so football at the Open - it's time to let you know who won two of the bigger prizes on offer this weekend.

The first, Famous Grouse's Personality Player of the Open, has gone to Sergio Garcia.

The Tom Cruise cloned with Luke Chadwick lookalike from Spain won a poll of hundreds of visitors to the 19th Hole beer and beef sandwich tent.

Fans were asked to vote for their top "character" based on the following criteria: on-course joie de vivre, panache, dress sense and connection with the crowd.

Garcia's gadfly antics, fist-pumping and constant 'joshing' with caddies and playing partners - Tiger Woods excluded - impressed the crowds a little more than the tight white trousers of Jesper Parnevik and Fredrick Jacobson.

South Africa's Ernie Els
Ernie Els checks for any stubble

But only just, as many female fans were far too impressed with the Swedish drainpipes.

It is amazing what a pair of mincing strides can do for a man's popularity - just look at Colin Firth's career since his turn as Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.

The other gong to hand out on Sunday morning, the Beard Liberation Front's Clean Shaven Golfer of the Open, is shared between Ernie Els and Davis Love.

The informal network of beard wearers was forced to take the step of rewarding razormanship instead of hirsuteness this year as there was so little facial hair in the field - a result of what the BLF has branded a beard ban.

BLF organiser Keith Flett said: "We are not entirely sure how Els and Davis Love have remained so clean shaven.

"But there is some evidence that both have on-course top-up shaves while in bunkers or areas of rough.

"Apparently this on-course shaving is one thing that is not banned by R&A rules. We are not surprised."


Bjorn with chilli sauce and onions

Truly expert opinion is a rare commodity in the press tent.

So it was with some relief that I was able to take part in a frank exchange of considered views in Sandwich on Saturday night. Think the Late Review meets Rab C Nesbitt in a kebab shop.

After a polite but passionate debate in the Amigos takeaway, a consensus emerged finally emerged.

Thomas Bjorn is going to win the 2003 Open.

Or Tiger Woods, or Vijay Singh, although Davis Love and Sergio Garcia can't be ruled out, and even Nick Faldo could do it!


Lock up your daughters

Justin Timberlake and Kylie Minogue
Justin is a big fan of swing...

It is something of an Open secret that Justin Timberlake is at Royal St George's to catch a bit of his favourite pastime - after skirt-chasing - golf.

He is even supposed to be appearing in the commentary box of US broadcaster NBC at some point on Sunday afternoon.

Unfortunately, Trousersnake has proved as difficult to locate as an errant Tiger Woods drive.

The diary searched high and low in all the likely places a young man might rock his body on a Saturday night in Sandwich, but came up with nothing - if only BBC celebs were so hard to come by.

The Market Inn did receive a telephone booking for a table for six under the name of Timberlake, but the former N'Sync singer failed to show.

Given the high-jinks I witnessed in the streets outside at chucking out time, it is perhaps best that the squeaky-voiced mummy's boy stayed away.

Did that last part sound bitter and jealous?


Ask a silly question Part IV

It appears the foot-in-mouth disease that has plagued the Royal St George's press tent has infected the local population.

An unnamed local radio station asked its listener, sorry, listeners, to 'guess the year' after playing a few snatches of pop music.

To make things a little easier the DJ offered the following clue: "It was also the year that Steve Ballesteros last won the Open."





Links to more Daily Diary stories


 

THE OPEN 2003

CURTIS CLINCHES CLARET JUG

SANDWICH REVIEW

WATCH VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
 

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