Feathery phraseology

There’s always plenty of feathery phraseology at The Open. Birdies here, eagles there, seagull s*** everywhere. To combat the pesky nuisance of those giant St Andrews gulls, which circle above the Old Course spectator village with squawking Hitchcockian menace, The R&A top brass have employed the services of an Indian eagle owl known as Sage. 

With its beady eyes and fierce talons, Sage is a dab hand at scaring off those mischievous, greedy gulls. Being a man of learned ornithology, the diarist engaged in an erudite blether with said owl’s handler. “Are you aware of Bubo bengalesis?,” he asked. “Didn’t he miss the cut in last year’s Open?”, I said with no appreciation at all of Sage’s scientific name. Given that we are at the home of golf, the diarist suggested that Sage should be re-christened Owl’d Tom Morris?

Food for thought

The golf writers are a hungry old lot as we feed the cogs and pistons of relentless Open industry. One of the diarist’s colleagues shovels so much grub away, he’s actually discovered a meal between breakfast and brunch. Our American friends, meanwhile, remain somewhat intrigued by the offerings in the media canteen. “Shepherd’s Pie?,” muttered one US scribe. “You guys sure eat some weird ass s***.” This from a nation that gave us the abomination that is Squeezy Cheese.

Army veterans complete march

An epic army veteran-led relay challenge to raise funds for sick and wounded personnel finished in St Andrews yesterday. The On Course to The Open team, which was made up of a 55-person squad, have carried a pin flag all the way from Royal St George’s in Kent to the home of golf. It’s been a journey of some 1500km. About the same distance, then, that the diarist has to walk from the press centre to the media car park.