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Adam Scott pays tribute to Greg Norman after US Masters win

Scott pays tribute to Norman after breaking Australia's majors duck with Masters win

By
Phil Casey, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

00:35 GMT, 15 April 2013

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UPDATED:

01:30 GMT, 15 April 2013

Adam Scott paid tribute to Australian great Greg Norman after breaking his major duck, and that of his nation at the Masters.

Scott saw off Angel Cabrera at the second hole of a sudden-death play-off at Augusta to win the 77th Masters and lay the ghost of Lytham last year, when he bogeyed the last four holes of the Open to lose by one stroke to Ernie Els.

'I don't know how that happens,' Scott said of today's dramatic finale. 'It seems a long way away from last July when I was trying to win another major.

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Looking good in Green: Adam Scott became the first Australian to win the US MAsters

Looking good in Green: Adam Scott became the first Australian to win the US Masters

Adam Scott wins the Masters

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'It fell my way today, there was some luck there. It was incredible.'

Scott and Argentinian Cabrera had finished at nine under, two shots ahead of Jason Day with a third Australian, Marc Leishman, tied for third on five under alongside world number one Tiger Woods.

And Scott said: 'Australia's a proud sporting nation and this was one notch on the belt that we'd never got.

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Nail biting: Scott beat Argentinian Angel Cabrera in a tense finish

Nail biting: Scott beat Argentinian Angel Cabrera in a tense finish

'It's amazing that it's come down to me today, Marc and Jason Day, it could have been any of us.

'But there was one guy that inspired a nation of golfers and that's Greg Norman. He's been incredible to me and all the young golfers in Australia and part of this definitely belongs to him.'

Scott looked to have avoided the need for a play-off when he drained a superb 25-foot putt on the final hole of his fourth round to card 69.

So close: Cabrera throws his putter after just missing his birdie putt on the second playoff hole

So close: Cabrera throws his putter after just missing his birdie putt on the second playoff hole

Embrace: Second placed Angel Cabrera (right) congratulates Scott on his win

Embrace: Second placed Cabrera congratulates Scott on his win

But Cabrera, in the following group, hit a magnificent approach to little more than three feet and holed out to extend the contest.

'It was a split-second I thought I'd won, you should never count your chickens,' said Scott of his wild celebrations on the 72nd green.

'But that was the putt, we've seen so many guys make it to win and I thought 'it's time for me to step up' and see how much I wanted it.

Passover: Bubba Watson gives Scott his jacket

Passover: Bubba Watson gives Scott his jacket

'To make a couple of putts to win the Masters tournament is just an amazing feeling.'

Cabrera himself went close when his chip at the first play-off hole ran just past the cup and said: 'That's how golf is. I came back and I had that chip on 18, I could have won it.

But Adam's a good winner. I would have been happier if I had won but he's a great player, I get along with him, we've played together in the President's Cup and I'm happy for him.'

Tiger Woods hopes long putters are banned

Long putters should be banned, says Woods as golf awaits outcome of ruling bodies

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UPDATED:

10:20 GMT, 28 November 2012

Tiger Woods was hoping to hear on Wednesday that the way long putters are anchored to the body is going to be outlawed.

An announcement is expected at a teleconference being held by the Royal and Ancient Club and United States Golf Association, golf's two ruling bodies.

It is widely thought that from 2016 there will be no fixing of putters to a pivot point, whether it is the belly, chin or chest.

Keegan Bradley

Webb Simpson

Putt: Bradley and Simpson are among the last five major winners

Three of the sport's last five major winners – Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els – have used long putters in such a way.

Woods, in California this week for his final event of 2012, said: 'I was just asked my own opinion and that was it.

'I don't know if it carried any weight or not, but I just believe that the art of putting is swinging the club and controlling nerves.

'Having it as a fixed point, as I was saying all year, is something that's not in the traditions of the game.

No tradition: Woods wants long putters outlawed from the game

No tradition: Woods wants long putters outlawed from the game

Phil Duncan F1 blog

'We swing all 13 other clubs. I think the putter should be the same. It should be a swinging motion throughout the entire bag.

'I don't know if there's any statistical data on it, but I'm sure there is somewhere about whether or not anchoring the putter does help on a certain range of putts, especially the guys who have gotten the twitches a little bit.

'One of the things that I was concerned about going forward is the kids who get started in the game and starting to putt with an anchoring system.

'There have been some guys who have had success out here and obviously everyone always copies what we do. That's something that I think for the greater good of the game needs to be adjusted.'

Woods, the defending champion in the World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club, also said he was ruling out European Tour membership next season.

The possibility was there for him to meet the criteria after it was decided to include the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup in the 13-event minimum, but

Woods stated: 'I certainly understand the ruling and that's nice, but no.

'It's a bit much for me still. Certainly I've had opportunities over the years – I was very close a couple of times and could have taken membership up and played it.

'I enjoy playing around the world and I still always will, but I am going to play this (PGA) Tour.'

If there had been no minimum requirement Woods would have been the European circuit's leading money-winner six times between 1999 and 2007, but he added: 'It wasn't important to me.

'It just wasn't important to me. My main concern was winning major championships – I've won 14 of them and I'm very proud of that.'

Lee Westwood to play Greg Norman for short-game returns – Derek Lawrenson

Long-haul Lee swims with the Shark for short-game returns

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 26 November 2012

Where next for Lee Westwood in his search for salvation on and around the greens Here’s an eye-catching name – Greg Norman.

Before anyone adds the Aussie great to the long list of hired help Westwood has acquired over the years in the short-game department, it should be said that seeing Norman will be more along the lines of two friends getting together for some social golf and bouncing ideas off one another.

‘Lee has always been an admirer of Greg’s short-game technique,’ said Westwood’s manager Chubby Chandler. So it is that when the Englishman begins his brave new adventure in Florida in January he will seek out a long-time pal and neighbour for some brain-storming.

Old pals: Lee Westwood (right) with Australian legend Greg Norman

Old pals: Lee Westwood (right) with Australian legend Greg Norman

Not just Norman, either. Nick Price, another legend with a gossamer touch, also lives in the vicinity. Then there are contemporaries Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen, who are both moving to the same gated community as Westwood at Old Palm, near Fort Lauderdale. There’s also Ernie Els and Luke Donald.

This will be the first time in his career that Westwood will play some serious social golf against players of his own calibre. Up to now, he has always lived miles from anyone, in Worksop. Imagine what difference it might make to his short game mixing with the likes of Norman and Els, and playing regular $100 money games with a competitive edge.

It can only help in terms of sharpness, can’t it The Norman connection is particularly intriguing. One of the finest victories of Westwood’s career came as a young man playing against the Shark in his ferocious prime at the Australian Open. It gave Westwood the belief to go on an astonishing run that would see him claim 17 more victories over the next three seasons.

Fifteen years on, could the wily Norman prove the catalyst once more We can but hope.

More from Derek Lawrenson…

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Derek Lawrenson: HSBC Championship shows golf faces hurricane alert over fees
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World of Golf: Rose blooming, so let’s not rake over the coals
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Derek Lawrenson: Overpaid Most earnings aren't on a par with Rose's fortune
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Derek Lawrenson: It's a Turkish delight as eight greats battle it out for big bucks
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Derek Lawrenson: Why we should be saying Yanks for the memories to gracious losers
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Derek Lawrenson: McIlroy a victim of trash talk in American press ahead of Ryder Cup
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VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

About time too

Given the chronic lack of tournament golf in England at a time of vast riches in the playing department, the idea of three events taking place in the country in 2014 is a pleasant one indeed.

Traditionalists too will be cheered immensely by the prospect of the Volvo World Match Play returning home, if only for one year. This event has been held in Spain for the last two years and will break new ground in Bulgaria next season. The idea after that is for it to rotate between three nations, with England next up.

If the plan comes to fruition, it would mean two events in England in May — the other being the flagship PGA Championship at Wentworth — alongside The Open at Royal Liverpool in July.

Quote of the week

‘Every goal I set myself at the start of 2012 I’ve achieved this year. It really doesn’t get any better than that and I’m already excited about 2013.’

How typical that while patting himself on the back with one hand, Rory McIlroy should be driving himself forward with the other. Rory’s era has begun in truly thrilling fashion.

Simply the best: Rory McIlroy has enjoyed a quite brilliant year on the course

Simply the best: Rory McIlroy has enjoyed a quite brilliant year on the course

Long putter: Open champion Ernie Els

Long putter: Open champion Ernie Els

Belly rumbles

Is tomorrow the big day in terms of a decision from the governing bodies regarding the vexed subject of the belly putter

Such were the whispers in Dubai last week. ‘We’re about to have some fun and games,’ said Luke Donald, smiling.

Rather than a straight ban, most of the money is on a form of wording that effectively prevents any player from anchoring a putter to his body. Which would be a smart way of effectively bringing in a ban while reducing the chances of this ending up in a messy court battle — the fun and games to which Donald refers.

No changes to the Rules of Golf can be introduced until the next review in 2016, but there is some talk it will be introduced in the professional game before then. Among the players who would be affected are three of the last five major winners — Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els.

Bold course for new ideas

Any talk of changes to the Old Course at St Andrews is always a move into ‘painting a moustache on the face of the Mona Lisa’ territory.

So it was that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club got another shellacking last week following the announcement, in conjunction with the St Andrews Links Trust who manage the course, of a number of changes before The Open is held there in 2015. It has to be said, some of the planned amendments sound positively radical.

Widening the Road Hole bunker and recontouring the area around it, for example; the first alterations to the 11th green for about 250 years.

Let’s go easy on the outrage, however, and have a little faith in the two bodies in question. After all, they have more to lose than anyone.

Louis Oostuizen leads HSBC Champions at halfway stage

Oostuizen builds five-shot lead at HSBC Champions after shooting course-record 63

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UPDATED:

09:43 GMT, 2 November 2012

Louis Oosthuizen stormed into a five-shot lead at golf's final world championship of the season in China.

The 30-year-old South African, who won the 2010 Open by a massive seven strokes, produced a course-record 63 to reach halfway on 16 under par in the HSBC Champions at Mission Hills.

'I'm in a great position to win, but it's not even crossed my mind at the moment,' Oosthuizen said. 'There's still a lot of golf to be played – I need to put myself in a great position going down the back nine on Sunday.'

King Louis: Oosthuizen shot a course record 63 to lead the HSBC Champions at the halfway stage

King Louis: Oosthuizen shot a course record 63 to lead the HSBC Champions at the halfway stage

HSBC Champions leaderboard

Click here to see all the latest scores

After making birdies at each of the five par fives in his opening 65 he went even better on his return to the Jose Maria Olazabal-designed lay-out.

Oosthuizen birdied four of them again, eagled the 566-yard seventh and also picked up four other birdies to go clear of the field.

'I started off a bit shaky with a bogey on the second, but immediately made birdie and was putting really well.

'I gave myself a lot of opportunities for birdie and if you make the putts you shoot a low number.'

Leader: Oosthuizen plays his second shot on the 18th hole during the second round at Mission Hills

Leader: Oosthuizen plays his second shot on the 18th hole during the second round at Mission Hills

Australian Adam Scott, tied for the lead after his opening 65, added a 68 and was joined in second place when current Open champion Ernie Els matched his compatriot's 63.

Golf blog

Making his return from an ankle injury that forced him out of last week's PGA Grand Slam in Bermuda – replacement Padraig Harrington won it – Els threatened to go even lower when he turned in a seven-under 29.

The 43-year-old added further birdies at the 12th and 14th, hitting approaches to within two feet of the flag, and kept a bogey off his card for the second day running.

Great Scott: Aussie Adam hits his tee shot on the fifth hole on his way to a second round 68

Great Scott: Aussie Adam hits his tee shot on the fifth hole on his way to a second round 68

Five shots back: South Africa's Ernie Els

Five shots back: South Africa's Ernie Els

Scott was keeping pace early on with five birdies in the first 11 holes, but he bogeyed the next two and after coming back with two more birdies he came up short of the green at the 197-yard 17th and dropped another shot.

That was not as bad as the finishes of Phil Mickelson or Masters champion Bubba Watson, however.
After eagles at the third and seventh – and three birdies – Mickelson was alongside Scott, but then came a missed four-foot putt at the 14th and after that bogey worse was to come on the last.

Twice winner of the title in Shanghai, Mickelson pushed his second to the last into the hazard and in attempting to hack it out from amongst the rocks moved the ball only a matter of inches.

The next found the green, but a double bogey six meant a 69 and dropped him to sixth place.

Joint fourth are Ireland's Shane Lowry, bidding for a second win in three starts and a place in the world's top 50 for the first time, and American Ryder Cup player Jason Dufner, but they are six strokes behind.

Watson, who beat Oosthuizen in a play-off at Augusta in April, was in a tie for seventh until he put two balls in the water for a triple bogey eight at the reachable 15th.

Padraig Harrington leads Grand Slam from Bubba Watson

Harrington takes control of Grand Slam after surging into two-shot lead over Watson

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UPDATED:

22:29 GMT, 23 October 2012

Padraig Harrington is halfway towards the 375,000 PGA Grand Slam title in Bermuda – just three days after being offered the chance to play.

The 41-year-old Dubliner, who lost play-offs at Mid-Ocean in 2007 and 2008, started with a five-under-par 66 at Port Royal to lead Masters champion Bubba Watson by two, US Open winner Webb Simpson by three and holder Keegan Bradley, Rory McIlroy's replacement, by six.

Leading the way: Padraig Harrington is halfway towards winning the PGA Grand Slam in Bermuda

Leading the way: Padraig Harrington is halfway towards winning the PGA Grand Slam in Bermuda

The event is meant to be between the year's four major winners, but with McIlroy opting to play in Shanghai, Ernie Els pulling out with an ankle injury and reserves Graeme McDowell and Tiger Woods turning it down – they are in Asia as well – Harrington received a call.

In contention: Bubba Watson is two shots adrift of Harrington

In contention: Bubba Watson is two shots adrift of Harrington

Eighth behind Watson at Augusta and fourth to Simpson in San Francisco, he grabbed seven birdies and would have been even more in control but for bogeys at the third and 16th, both par threes.

Simpson came back into the picture with three back-nine birdies but then bogeyed the 431-yard last while left-hander Watson, his Ryder Cup partner, mixed an eagle and five birdies with four bogeys. Bradley, who last year beat McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Charl Schwartzel, was always fighting an uphill battle from the time he double-bogeyed the fourth and bogeyed the next two to stand four over.

Even the player who finishes last still earns 125,000.

Grand Slam of Golf: Live leaderboard

PGA Grand Slam of Golf leaderboard: Keep up to date with the latest scores

A midweek treat for fans is the PGA Grand Slam of Golf with four of the world's top players battling it out over two days in Bermuda.

The event is open to the year's four major winners but Bubba Watson (Masters) and Webb Simpson (US Open) are the only two taking part.

Open champion Ernie Els is injured and Rory McIlroy – the US PGA winner – is defending his BMW Masters title in Shanghai.

Keegan Bradley and Padraig Harrington have stepped in and you can keep track of all the latest scores right here.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIVE LEADERBOARD

Big winner: Keegan Bradley won the Grand Slam of Golf last year

Big winner: Keegan Bradley won the Grand Slam of Golf last year

Pardaig Harrington to play in Grand Slam of Golf as Ernie Els pulls out with ankle injury

Bermuda bonanza for Harrington as Els pulls out of Grand Slam of Golf

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UPDATED:

10:44 GMT, 21 October 2012

Bonanza: Harrington

Bonanza: Harrington

Ireland's Padraig Harrington has suddenly found himself called into the four-man PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Port Royal in Bermuda on Tuesday and Wednesday, and even if he finishes last he will earn 125,000.

Harrington replaces Open champion Ernie Els, who has pulled out with a left ankle injury, and in an event meant to bring together the season's four major winners is up against Masters champion Bubba Watson, US Open winner Webb Simpson and last year's USPGA champion Keegan Bradley – himself a replacement for Rory McIlroy.

Northern Ireland's world No 1 qualified with his USPGA victory in August, but is defending the BMW Masters title in Shanghai this week, while second and third alternates Graeme McDowell and Tiger Woods are also honouring commitments to play in Asia.

Harrington said: 'While my entry is under unique circumstances, I am excited to compete in the event again. I came close the last two times I was there, losing in play-offs to Angel Cabrera in 2007 and Jim Furyk in 2008, so maybe the third time will be a charm.'

Els, winner in 1997 and 2010, stated: 'I am bitterly disappointed. It is a great reward for winning a major and something I have enjoyed in the past and was looking forward to again.

Ankle injury: Els has had to pull out of the event in Bermuda

Ankle injury: Els has had to pull out of the event in Bermuda

'Unfortunately I sprained my left ankle a few days ago and while it isn't too serious and should recover relatively quickly, I have been advised not to try and play on it.'

The winner receives 375,000 and the runner-up 187,500.

Dunhill Links Championship: Brenden Grace praised by Ernie Els after taking four shot lead

Els tips Grace to win The Open as South African takes four shot lead into final round of Dunhill Links

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UPDATED:

17:08 GMT, 6 October 2012

Ernie Els has lavished praise on fellow South African Branden Grace ahead of the final round of the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews.

Grace will take a four-stroke advantage over Dane Thorbjorn Olesen into the closing 18 holes after a three-under-par 69 at Carnoustie – much the toughest of the three courses used for the celebrity pro-am – lifted him to 20 under.

'He's good enough to win an Open – he's that good,' Els, the current Claret Jug holder, said as the 24-year-old continued to dominate an event he has led since his opening 60 at Kingsbarns on Thursday.

Out in front: Branden Grace will take a four shot lead into the final round

Out in front: Branden Grace will take a four shot lead into the final round

Even with a 65 at St Andrews Els is 12 shots adrift, but seeing another product of his Foundation blossom so spectacularly this season fills him with pride.

Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel have already won majors, and since coming through his fifth visit to the European Tour qualifying school last December, Grace has won four times and leapt inside the world's top 50 from outside the top 300.

'I remember winning the (2007) South African Open and he was top amateur,' said Els, who lost to him in a play-off for the Volvo Champions title in January.

'He's always been a quality player and he's a world contender now.'

In good form: Grace has been praised by Ernie Els

In good form: Grace has been praised by Ernie Els

He finds it no surprise that the Pretoria golfer is excelling this particular week.

'His game is so suited for links golf – he hits those low bullet drives and he can really putt,' Els said.

Grace did not have everything go his way in the third round. After a hat-trick of birdies he double-bogeyed the 472-yard 15th, but as he picked up another shot on the last Olesen double-bogeyed the 17th at Kingsbarns.

Swedes Fredrik Andersson and Alex Noren are in third spot, while Scot Stephen Gallacher, whose only Tour victory in nearly 400 starts came in this event eight years ago, produced a spectacular finish to be in the group on 14 under.

Praising his countryman: Els says Grace is good enough to win The Open

Praising his countryman: Els says Grace is good enough to win The Open

Gallacher sank a 'totally blind' 200-yard five-iron for an eagle two at Kingsbarns' 17th and then birdied the last for a 65.

Two of the three returning Ryder Cup players made the cut, but it will disappoint locals that the one to miss out was Paul Lawrie.

A 68 for three under at St Andrews was never likely to be enough for him – “I putted like an idiot,' he said afterwards – but Martin Kaymer's 69 took him to six under and Peter Hanson matched that round to squeeze through on five under.

Although Jose Maria Olazabal's four assistants – Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn and Miguel Angel Jimenez – all failed to make it, lone American Dustin Johnson, winner of all his three games in the Chicago defeat, is alongside Kaymer thanks to a 67.

Grace said: 'I didn't play particularly well. There were loose shots here and there, but this course mentally does it to you.

'I kept fighting, got it around and finishing with a birdie is a bonus.

'Everybody calls it 'Car-nasty' (a name given during the 1999 Open when the rough was some of the worst ever and a 19-year-old Sergio Garcia finished last on 30 over) and it showed you still have to hit good shots.

'I've dreamt of picking any trophy up on that bridge on the 18th (at St Andrews), so maybe this time tomorrow it happens.'

Scott Piercy sets course record in Ontario to lead Canadian Open

Piercy sets course record in Ontario to lead Canadian Open from Englishman Owen

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UPDATED:

05:34 GMT, 27 July 2012

Course record: Piercy shot 62

Course record: Piercy shot 62

American Scott Piercy held a one-shot lead over England's Greg Owen after an amazing opening day of record scoring and impressive recovery in the RBC Canadian Open.

Owen held the lead and a share of the course record after overcoming a nightmare start but an hour later Piercy's best of 62 at the Hamilton G&CC put him in charge.

'In all honesty I didn't feel like I had a very good feel for the golf course teeing up on the first hole today,' Piercy said.

'I flew in late on Tuesday, played the pro-am so I'm kind of jet lagged playing, and kind of scraped through yesterday.'

Piercy made five birdies, two eagles and just one bogey in the opening round, closing in 30.

Owen, who started his round on the back nine, dropped three shots in his opening two holes with a double-bogey on the par-four 10th followed by a bogey five on the 11th.

But he recovered to hit six birdies in his next nine holes and then an eagle three at the par-five fourth and another birdie at the fifth lifted him to six under. He went on to pick up another shot before completing his round.

In the hunt: Owen is just one shot off the lead

In the hunt: Owen is just one shot off the lead

But that was before Piercy came to the front with his course best round of 62.

Piercy finished the day on eight under, one shot ahead of Owen and American William McGirt. Robert Garrigus sat alone on six under.

Open champion Ernie Els finished on two over.

Ernie Els upsets old management – Charles Sale

Has Ernie another steal on his mind

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UPDATED:

23:36 GMT, 22 July 2012

Open champion Ernie Els is causing upset at his former management company, who fear he is trying to recruit some of their best players for his new agency.

Els left Chubby Chandler’s ISM a year ago to join the Florida-based ProsInc and he has kept close links with his South African compatriots at ISM — George Coetzee, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel — including offering them travel to tournaments in his private jet.

Open champ: Ernie Els may have another prize on his mind

Open champ: Ernie Els may have another prize on his mind

ISM also have conflict-of-interest concerns about Els working for ProsInc in such a way when still a leading player, and Chandler intends to have talks with his former client to clarify his intentions.

Chandler has responded to the threat of losing the South African quartet by devoting more resources to them.

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Meanwhile, commission claims made by another American golf agency, Gaylord, against ISM have been resolved. The claims related to ISM’s Oakley sunglasses sponsorship deal for Rory McIlroy set up before he switched to the Horizon agency.

The unhealthy stranglehold event agents IMG enjoy at Wimbledon and The Open was even more evident at Lytham than at SW19. The IMG-run online TV operation @the Open Live featured plenty of footage plugging the R&A’s seven patron partners, whose 1.4million-a-year sponsorship deals were set up in some cases — including Ralph Lauren Polo’s latest — by the omnipresent IMG.

Toilet surprise

The biggest surprise of The Open for Royal Lytham’s lady captain, Wendy Barnsley, was not anything that happened on the course but what confronted her in the women’s toilets in the clubhouse. Wendy walked in during the second day of the championship to find a man in a state of undress using the facility to change clothes. When asked what he was doing there, the intruder said he could change where he liked following the Equalities Act. Neither the club nor the R&A would comment yesterday.

Faldo switch

Sir Nick Faldo, who has changed wives and management at regular intervals, now has his American partner LeslieAnne Wade represent him through her company Wade Media Management. LeslieAnne is a former communications chief at CBS Sports for whom Faldo works as the lead golf pundit. As well as commentating for the BBC at The Open, Faldo will also be part of the Beeb’s Ryder Cup highlights coverage.

When work and home life meet: Nick Faldo

When work and home life meet: Nick Faldo

Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal famously lost his cool in the press conference after the American victory in 2008 against the Faldo-led Europeans. Olazabal, a vice-captain then, was defending Faldo’s heavily criticised leadership. How Olazabal handles the media will be an issue in Chicago. Faldo, for one, believes he will cope fine, saying the spat with the press four years ago was due to the Spaniard’s comments being ‘lost in translation’. Olazabal speaks perfect English.

Win double for Owen

Not only did his Manor House stables send out three winners at Haydock Park on Saturday but Michael Owen’s encounter there with golf agent and keen gambler Chubby Chandler led to a promise he would buy a horse off the footballer.

The next day Owen had a chance to sell his football wares when the out-of-contract striker had breakfast as a guest of Chandler with Bolton chairman Phil Gartside.

Winner: Michael Owen had some luck with the horses

Winner: Michael Owen had some luck with the horses

Well done Alliss

Credit to Peter Alliss — four words that don’t often appear in Sports Agenda — for his comment that the price of food and drink at The Open was ‘borderline disgraceful’. The R&A’s explanation for the rip-off is that a greenfield site means catering has to be brought in, adding to the cost.

Turkey shorts plan

The Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals in October, part of Istanbul’s 2020 Olympic bid, will have the eight-strong field wearing shorts, which is not allowed on the pro tour. Turkey wants to improve standards enough to have a player competing when golf joins the Olympics in 2016. World No 1 Luke Donald has withdrawn from the event because of his schedule.