Wednesday’s British Open Notebook

July 18, 2007

Earlier this week, Nick Faldo criticized British players for being too friendly. On Wednesday, he elaborated on his comments, which have caused quite a storm among some of the players he will captain at next year’s Ryder Cup.

He was asked if he thought he had overstepped the mark. “No,” Faldo said. “I’ll tell you what happened. It was an observation I made at an event in America when I saw three out of the four leaders having lunch together. I was sitting with Seve on Monday, and we both agreed, wow, that’s not what we were like in our day.

“I’m not even sure there was a European player among those three leaders, thinking about it now. It was a generalization. What other sport is there where guys have lunch before they go out to knock each other’s heads off?” — Paul Mahoney

Heathrow blamed for players’ lost luggage

Mark Calcavecchia got off to a rough start before the 136th British Open even started. He flew from Phoenix to London Heathrow to Edinburgh, but his clubs and clothes never made it, lost along with thousands of other bags reportedly languishing at Heathrow Airport.

“I got a whole new set of 14 clubs made,” Calcavecchia said Wednesday afternoon after learning that his bags had turned up in Edinburgh. “I got a new sweater, shirt, pants, even the underwear I’m wearing is new. The pants were pretty cheap. The shirt and sweater were $225. It’s just a pain in the ass.

“Don’t buy stuff in here,” Calcavecchia continued, gesturing toward Carnoustie’s pro shop. “They rob you blind.”

Calcavecchia’s caddie’s suitcase also disappeared en route.

Geoff Ogilvy was one of the lucky ones, arriving from Washington, D.C., last week without a glitch. Well, sort of without a glitch.

“They lost my baby’s stuff,” Ogilvy said. “She didn’t have her regular food, didn’t have her pajamas. She didn’t know what was going on for 24 hours.”

Relatively speaking, she was one of the lucky ones. Ogilvy’s father flew in last Wednesday and his golf clubs are still missing. His mom lost her suitcase.

Given the calamity, the veteran move seemed to be to bypass London altogether.

“I drove up,” said a smiling Paul Casey, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., but whose family resides just outside London. “Heathrow is to be avoided at all costs. It’s a long way in a car but you don’t lose everything that way. Plus you can pack more crap in your car. There was a report in the paper yesterday, I don’t know if it was a tabloid or what, that 22,000 pieces of luggage are sitting in some warehouse at Heathrow. It’s crap, isn’t it? I feel sorry for the guys who lost all their stuff, especially with the exchange rate.” — Cameron Morfit