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  Saturday, 21 July, 2001, 13:26 GMT 14:26 UK
Beware the big game hunters
Sweden's Niclas Fasth
Niclas Fasth eyes his prey - is Monty in his sights?
By BBC Sport Online's Stuart Roach at Royal Lytham

It seemed appropriate that Niclas Fasth was among the chasing pack closing in on leader Colin Montgomerie at Lytham.

The in-form Swede moved to four-under after a second-successive 69 on Friday and now has Montgomerie firmly in his sights.

Monty should be afraid, very afraid, as a quick glance at Fasth's tour biography reveals that he lists hunting among his hobbies.

That may seem an unusual pastime - albeit a fitting one - for a golfer, but Fasth is just one member of a growing club on tour.

And Lytham is clearly a happy hunting ground, as 1996 Open champion Tom Lehman is another to list hunting among his hobbies.

Jose Maria Olazabal
Olazabal is another keen hunter

Jeff Maggert, who bagged an albatross on Thursday, and Jose Maria Olazabal are also keen hunters.

All players are required to list their hobbies for the tour biographies and the lists make for interesting reading.

The big game hunters might encounter some prickly partnerships over the course of a season, with the likes of wildlife fan David Carter and environmentalist Greg Turner, while Thomas Levet is an animal lover.

But it seems hunting, in whatever form, is popular across the board.

Fishing is the choice of several pros, though some clearly like more of a challenge than others.

Jesper Parnevik
Parnevik likes a spot of shark-fishing

Michael Campbell and Justin Leonard are both keen fishermen and Nick Faldo likes to fly fish, but nobody does it quite like zany Swede Jesper Parnevik, whose preference is for shark fishing.

Flying is popular too, Faldo choosing to take his helicopter for a spin while Phil Mickelson is also an aero freak.

But some players like a more sedate form. Kite flying, for example, suits Soren Hansen down to the ground.

Sandy Lyle and Paul McGinley enjoy life in the fast lane, the Scot listing motorbikes, cars and planes among his hobbies while McGinley is a Formula One fan.

But there are others who prefer a more sedate life.

Mark Roe
Mark Roe likes the quieter life

Mark Roe is fond of antiques and interior design, while Barry Lane and Monty enjoy a spot of DIY.

There are several movie buffs on tour too, Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood, Montgomerie and Ernie Els are all avid film fans.

But few are more cultured than Mark McNulty, who lists piano, fine arts and Koi fish as a few of his favourite things.

The boyish Sergio Garcia plays video games and Stewart Cink is a lover of barbecues, while Andrew Oldcorn switches off with the unusual combination of rock music and politics.

Royal Lytham resident professional Paul Eales lists sport on the radio as one of his hobbies, a cunning move from a player recently snapped up as a commentator for BBC Five Live.

Sport clearly figures in several of the players' lives, but it's not all golf or football.

Fredrik Andersson's absence from this year's event means he can spend more time following his chosen sport of trotting.

And what a shame Steven Webster didn't make it to Lytham as he could have kept the players entertained with his favourite sport.

Tiddlywinks.


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