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The Open 2018 diary: Rahm´s saving Grace, Rory´s going grey

18 Temmuz 2018 19:52

Open Championship eve is a time of great excitement for golf fans, which meant Carnoustie was buzzing on Wednesday.

With the countdown clock now showing merely hours rather than days, there were bigger crowds and a palpable sense of anticipation.

Helping to lift the mood further, Rory McIlroy was in good form during his media conference, while golf legend Gary Player also put on quite the show.

But Branden Grace very nearly suffered a painful interruption to his enjoyment of the festivities.

For all that and more, take a look at our daily Open diary for the 2018 tournament.

 

MCILROY'S HAIR-RAISING QUESTION

It is 11 years since a fresh-faced Rory McIlroy announced himself to the world scene by winning the silver medal for the highest-ranked amateur at Carnoustie.

Back then, it's fair to say McIlroy sported a bushier, curlier hair-do - a look he was asked if he could sport again in front of an amused press pack.

"I probably could. I don't want to, though," he replied with a grin. "There's a few more greys in it these days. Looking back at the pictures, it is, it's funny. It's cool. It's great to look back on. It's good memories. When I looked in the mirror back then, I didn't think it was as big as it was. Anyways, we live and we learn!"

KEEP 'EM GREEN, KEEP 'EM KEEN

There are several of golf's top stars that like to catch the proverbial early worm, but even they cannot compete with the wake-up alarm of Carnoustie's head greenkeeper Craig Boath...

"The alarm goes off at 3.15am and we're out of the sheds and onto the course at 4am," he told The Open's media site. "You need to be in control of your greens because if you let them dry out, the speeds and the firmness get away from you."

Someone get the lad a coffee...

 

RAHM'S SAVING GRACE

Golf courses can be hazardous places, and we don't just mean the deep bunkers and hidden burns.

Even when the professionals are in action, the risk of errant shots sending a ball flying towards a person's head is persistent.

Usually, though, the players themselves are not under threat. However, that was not the case on the chipping green, when Jon Rahm's wayward stroke put Branden Grace in the firing line.

Fortunately, the big Spaniard's golf etiquette was spot-on and a few frantic shouts of 'fore' ensured Grace got the message and took evasive action.

 

PLAYER'S WARM OVATION

At 82, Gary Player retains an abundance of energy that cannot fail to captivate those fortunate enough to be in his presence.

The nine-time major winner spoke on Wednesday on the 50th anniversary of his second Open triumph at Carnoustie.

Indeed, he spoke for around 40 minutes - more than twice as long as the average media conference this week - and received a very warm ovation at the end.

You'll have to trust us when we say that doesn't usually happen...

 

OPPORTUNITY KNOX AS RUSSELL TEES UP WITH TIGER

Russell Knox is carrying the flag for Scotland this weekend and the in-form local favourite will have even more eyes on him for the opening two rounds after being partnered with Tiger Woods.

For any fan the sight of Woods is something to behold, and Knox is no different when it comes to the 14-time major champion.

Speaking to the PGA Tour, he said: "Getting to play with [Tiger], that was a huge goal of mine in my career. To get to play with him at a major, an Open, in Scotland, is kind of a pinch yourself moment."

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