Open All Hours: Ian Ladyman's diary from Royal Lytham
18:48 GMT, 20 July 2012
Nobody is more obsessed with
practice than Vijay Singh and he is regularly the first man on the
driving range at 6am. But news that the big Fijian spent early Thursday
evening hitting sand shots among the dunes on the beach will astonish
even those familiar with the 49-year-old’s habits. Maybe this golf
course just isn’t hard enough for him.
Perfectionist: Vijay Singh was out in the dunes
It’s an ill wind
The improved weather forecast for the weekend will cheer mobile chemist James Powell. Preparing for a summer working at pop festivals and sporting events, he bought 1,500 bottles of suntan lotion back in the spring. As of Friday lunchtime, he still had 1,450 left. The most common ailment here this week Chafing. ‘Too many middle-aged folk not used to all this walking,’ he smiled.
Radio 5 Live’s Mark Chapman is a pretty unflappable character but he cut a rather nervous figure on Thursday, having been told he was to spend part of Friday in a TV hoist in order to describe a bird’s-eye view of the course. Ultimately, though, the Beeb decided Chappers was too valuable roaming the fairways. At least, that was his slant on his rather lucky escape.
Six pack see an ace
A handful of the fans hardy enough to still be on the course late on Wednesday evening witnessed evidence of halfway leader Brandt Snedeker’s talent. The likeable American holed his tee shot on the par four 16th hole for a three-under-par hole-in-one while playing on his own in practice. ‘There were only six people there,’ he said.
Early indicator: Brandt Snedeker stunned a small group of fans
Thumbs up for…
The Lytham green staff. It was 3.10am on Friday when they were roused from their beds because the course was flooding under yet another deluge. At 7am there were lakes on the 15th fairway and the main entrance and hospitality areas were submerged. Thanks to water pumps, squeegees and old-fashioned hard work, though, play still started on time. Fantastic!
Thumbs down for…
Blackpool Pleasure Beach. The Fylde coast is full of wealthy golf tourists hoping to spend time in the area surrounding Lytham, especially the famous resort resplendent in all its gaudy glory. But one of its most popular attractions is closed in the evening. The gates have been locked on the Big One, the Ghost Train, etc at 6pm every night this week. What will they do next Knock down the Tower
Quote of the day
‘I just wish I could speak your language’ – A rather baffled Phil Mickelson — from across the pond — responds to a spectator who asked if he wanted to borrow his ‘brolly’.