SOUTHPORT, England Jim Furyk loves the British Open and is relaxed and happy to be back at Royal Birkdale, near Liverpool, where he finished fourth in 1998, the last time the championship was played here. But if he ever has to audition to film a visitors' bureau promotional trailer, he's going to need a scriptwriter.
Take 1: "The tea is highly overrated and the beer is highly underrated," he said, laughing. Um, that was nearly perfect, Mr Furyk. Maybe we should try telling all the people how easy it is to travel around our cute little island?
Take 2: "It never bothers me driving through small towns on the wrong side of the road," he said. Getting better, Mr Furyk, but probably shouldn't have mentioned the wrong side of the road thing. But then, oh dear, he couldn't stop himself. His pitch for any sponsor deals with UK car rental companies is going to need a little sharpening, too.
"Renting a car could be the most difficult thing of the entire trip," he said. Er, cut. Mr Furyk, you need to make it sound like it's the easiest thing of the entire trip. But the world No.12 player was now on a roll. "It sounds like it's going to cost like £200 to £300 but, by the time you're done, it's like half the mortgage on your house. And then you get a phone call like six months later saying that you still owe them money," Furyk said, laughing again.
"I try to avoid renting cars over here at all costs, but I enjoy being here. How's that?"
Er, thank you, Mr Furyk. We'll let you know.