A lovely Silver Medal and a place in golfing history awaits the best amateur golfer at Carnoustie this week…Rory McIlroy
What Wikipedia might say: McIlroy
made his first appearance in a European Tour event a few days after
turning sixteen, when he took part in the 2005 British Masters. He made
the cut on the European Tour for the first time as a seventeen year old
at the 2007 Dubai Desert Classic, where he had to forego prize money of
over €7,600 due to his amateur status.
Wunderkind status: McIlroy is routinely to be referred to as Boy Wonder, the new Seve, The Celtic Tiger (Northern division).
documentary footage available? UTV (ITV for Northern Ireland) ran an
hour devoted to Rory from Holywood, a cut and paste version of Posh
goes to LA. Llewellyn Matthews
This year’s Welsh angle: Forget the fact
Wales has never produced an Open winner (Dai Rees came second three
times, including losing to Hogan at Carnoustie in ‘53). Ignore that
there are only two from the principality teeing it up this year
(Bradley Dredge is the other one).
Adorability quotient (9.5):
Llewellyn Matthews won through his local qualifier at Monifieth and is
set to bring a certain boyish freshness to the gnarly, cynical world of
Major championship golf.
“I had played here before but it was a
little different at the British Boys’ Championship, there were no
stands in the way or ropes and it was a bit easier to get about,” he
says, before his mum spat on a tissue to wipe the Toffee Crisp from
around his mouth.
Lil’ Llew plays with Luke Donald and Charles
Howell III on Thursday and Friday. If the on course chat moves to seven
degrees of Kevin Bacon, Llewellyn will be in his element. “I know
someone who knows Luke really well,” he says of his playing partner.
Existential question of the day: Does anyone really know Luke Donald? Drew Weaver
Call My Bluff/episode 2438. (Adopts Frank Muir
vocal performance). Drew Weaver is (a) A Scottish arts and crafts based
occupation (b) A knock off second generation website building tool or
(c) One of America’s best young players who won this year’s Amateur
Championship at Lytham.
Tiger aspect: Weaver will tee off with the great man on Thursday and Friday
Extraordinary fact: He was studying a few hundred yards away when the Virginia Tech shootings took place.
celebratory email message: Following Weaver’s Lytham victory, the
assistant golf coach at Virginia Tech, Brian Sharp, just wrote: "Crow's
Nest in April."Paul Waring
Boys own hero: Former England Amateur champ
Waring earned caps at under-16s and boys' levels and was England Boys'
captain in 2003 and last season won the Peugeot Classic, and came
second in Duncan Putter, ahem.
Tee off chums? Aaron ‘Dresses’ Baddeley and former Open champ Ben Curtis.
not over until Shacklady sings: Cheshire’s Waring qualified through to
the Open with David Shacklady from Mossock Hall, a character from
Midsomer Murders.Richie Ramsay
Who he? Ramsay comes to Carnoustie still an amateur despite much pressure to ‘do a Justin’ and cash in early on his US Amateur win of 2006. His reward is to tee up with Tiger and Big Phil in the Masters and US Open so far this year. The 23 year old from Aberdeen has spent the first part of the week in a ‘Scot Pack’ - not in a Road Less Travelled sort of way - as Paul Lawrie and Alister Forsyth have guided him around Carnoustie’s back alleys.
US Amateur conversation starters: The last Scot to lift the US Amateur trophy (the Havemeyer Cup) was Findlay Douglas, originally from St Andrews, who won the title in 1898 after emigrating to America. And Ramsay is the first British winner since Harold Hilton in 1911.
Sixties siren: Twenty one year old Coupland cruised to victory in the qualifiers with scores of 69 and 65 for a total of 8 under par.
Speech, speech: County player Coupland’s entry to the big time left him "absolutely speechless" before going on to say that "This is the best thing I've ever done in my life”.
First time lucky: Coupland had never tried to qualify for the Open before this year and will tee off with Vaughn Taylor of the US and Australia’s Peter Fowler.