This is going to be brief blog. There are two reasons for this. One: I had the inconvenience of having a class for a couple of hours. And two: I had to work out how to get to Kingsbarns and then lug my laptop, Dunhill information sheets and various bits and bobs around on a warm day. It should not be this warm in Fife.
What I did see was Colin Montgomerie looking cheerful and Padraig Harrington missing an easy putt. I’m not sure which was more surprising.
The Kingsbarns course did at least benefit from the cooling powers of the sea, being situated right on the coast. It was a perfect day for golf in truth, sunshine, warmth and no wind. Some were taking advantage more than others.
When I left the Old Course Media Centre to embark on my perilous journey outside the Bubble (just), I saw that Nick Dougherty and Chris Evans led the professional-amateur team competition with a score of nine-under. Simon Dyson and Huey Lewis were not far behind on eight-under.
As for the pros, Louis Oosthuizen and Graeme McDowell were among a group of players closely tied together on five-under, with Swede Henrik Stenson on four-under.
By half past three (my arrival at Kingsbarns), there was quite some turnaround. Romain Wattel and Don St Pierre Jr. (-10) led the team competition ahead of Dyson and Lewis (-9). Sandy Lyle and Andrew Strauss (-8) were creeping up the leaderboard too.
The Spaniard Rafael Cabrera-Bello had joined Oosthuizen at the top of the pros rankings (on six-under). McDowell and Jaco Van Zyl were just behind, with the big names lining up behind them: Montgomerie (that’s why he was smiling!), Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and defending champ Martin Kaymer were all there. Northern Irishmen Rory McIlroy (+1) and Darren Clarke (+2) were not doing quite so well.
Now I sit in the library, having decided it is the best place to get internet and power. The scores after 18 holes? Oosthuizen and Cabrera-Bello still top the pros leaderboard, but are joined on six-under by Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland and Markus Brier of Austria. The rest are in pretty much the same places as before, except Rory McIlroy has improved to sit on two-under. Darren Clarke has also done marginally better, albeit only to manage one-over for the day.