Cricket and baseball may defeat it, but golf certainly loves its statistics. Rank Xerox will be photocopying 100,000 players' scorecards for eager fans at this year's Open. What the golfing fraternity then do with the cards is anybody’s guess. Then there’s the scoreboards — one at every hole on the Muirfield course —total cost £100,000.
If that seems like a lot of money, then think about the prizes available for hitting a little ball into a little hole in as few strokes as possible. Total prize money this year is £950,000, with the winner receiving £95,000 for four afternoons' work, or about £6000 an hour, or about £100 a minute.
Last year's winner, Ian Baker-Finch, is beginning to look like a one-off success, having won very little this year. Most people are looking no further than Nick Faldo and Fred Couples, both ‘nice guys' and both about as charismatic as a semolina pudding. More interesting should be the arrival of American John Daly, an audacious talent who plays about ten
I-’ f; I
times lasterthan Faldo and often with more success, as evidenced in his victory in the US PGA championship last year. Daly hits the ball unheard-of distances (averaging 380 yards on most drives) which means that he may get holes-in-one where it is supposedly impossible to do so.
Also coming back to form are lan Woosnam, recent winner oi the Monte Carlo Open, and Scotland’s Sandy Lyle - a late-80s success story turned sorry loser. Having, seemingly, finally overcome his crisis of confidence, Lyle should be a contender again this year along with the newly crowned US Open champion, Tom Kite.
But the history of Open champions at Muirfield is a catalogue of the really great names in golf— Nicklaus, Watson, Player, Cotton and Hagen have all won here. Ballesteros has not, but the statisticians will tell you that it’s about time he did. (Philip Parr)
The Open begins on Thursday 16 July at Muirfield Golf Course.
CRICKET Saturday 18
SCOTTISH COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
I Stirling County v Strathmore County Williamﬁeld, Stirling. 1pm. Stirling have had a disastrous season so far and might ﬁnd it tough going against a Strathmore side led by free-scoring batsman Kelaher. I West Lothfan v Ayrshire Boghall, Linlithgow. 1pm.
I Fifeshlre V Aberdeenshlre McKane Park, Dunfermline. 1pm.
HALL WESTERN UNION
I Oreenock v Ferguslie Glenpark, Brisbane Street, Greenock. 1pm.
I Uddingston V Ayr Bothwell Castle Policies, Uddingston. 1pm.
I West of Scotland v Kelbume Hamilton Crescent, Peel Street, Glasgow. 1pm. I Poloc V Clydesdale Shawholm, Pollokshaws, Glasgow. 1pm.
I Klimamock v Onrmpeliler Kirkstyle, Kilmamock. 1pm. Lowa Kilmamock take on the league leaders with bowler Cunningham coming face to face with Drumpellier’s free-scoring Ali.
HYOEN EAST LEAGUE
I Carlton v Watsonlans The Pavilion. Grange Loan, Edinburgh. 1pm. The two sides challenging Grange at the top-of-the-table clash at Grange Loan, in a cagey encounter.
I Heriots EP V Royal ngh Goldenacre. Inverieith Row, Edinburgh. 1pm.
I Edinburgh Acads v St Modans Racburn Place, Stockbridge, Edinburgh. 1pm.
I Grange V Stenhousemulr Racburn Place, Stockbridge, Edinburgh. 1pm.
I Kirkcaldy V Freuchle Bennochy, Kirkcaldy. 1pm.
SCOTTISH COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
I Ayrshire v Arbroath County The Oval. Prestwick. 1pm.
I Clackmannan County v Strathmore County The Ams, Alloa. 1pm.
I Fifeshire V Fortarshire McKane Park , Dunfermline. 1pm.
HALL WESTERN UNION
I Clydesdale v Ferguslle Titwood, Beaton Rd, Glasgow. 1pm.
I Uddingston v West Of Scotland Bothwell Castle Policies, Uddingston. 1pm.
I Ayr V Kilmemock Cambusdoon , Alloway. 1pm.
I Poloc v Greenock Shawholm, Pollokshaws, Glasgow. 1pm.
I Kelbume v Orumpelller Whitehaugh, Paisley. 1pm.
RYOEN EAST LEAGUE
I Freuchie V Orange Public Park, Freuchie. 1pm.
I Stenhousemuirv Royal High The Tryst, Larbert. 1pm.
I Carlton V Klrttcaldy The Pavilion, Grange Loan, Edinburgh. 1pm.
I Heriots F? v Edinburgh Acads Goldenacre, Inverieith Row, Edinburgh. 1pm.
I Watsonians V SI Modans Myreside, Colinton Road, Edinburgh. 1pm.
I Race Days Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, Shawﬁeld Stadium, Rutherglen Road, Glasgow. There are ten races in each meeting, starting at 7.45pm. £2.
I Race ans Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, Powderhall Stadium, Beaverhall Road, Edinburgh. Each meeting includes ten races, starting at 7.30pm. £2.50 Stand. Race programme free with admission.
GOLF Thursday iii—Sunday 19
I The Open Championships Muirﬁeld, nr Gullane. Daily tickets on Thursday. Friday, Saturday, Sunday £16. A chance to see the world‘s ﬁnest wielders of wood and iron club their way round the Muirfield course. Faldo and Couples are the favourites, but there are at least two Scots in with a chance of taking the top prize. See preview.
I Hamilton Park Races Hamilton Park Racecourse, Bothwell Road, Hamilton. Club £10, Paddock £5 (£3). 6.45pm. An evening meeting of flat racing featuring some of the top Northern circuit jockeys and trainers.
I Ayr Ayr Racecourse, 2 Whitletts Road, Ayr. 0292 264179. Club £10, Eglinton £6. First race 2.20pm
I Ayr Ayr Racecourse. 2 Whitletts Road, Ayr. 0292 264179. Club £10. Eglinton £6. First races 2.15pm. A Monday meeting that includes Scotland's only Group quality ﬂat race. the Scottish Classic, formerly known as the Scottish Derby. Expect some of the top trainers and jockeys from down south to be present.
I Edinburgh Races Musselburgh Racecourse, Musselburgh. 2.15pm. Club £8, paddock £4. Six races along the ﬂat at the seaside racecourse.
I Hamilton Park Races Hamilton Park Racecourse. Bothwell Road. Hamilton. Club £10. Paddock £5 (£3). 6.45pm. Another evening meeting of ﬂat racing.
I Hamilton Park Races Hamilton Park Racecourse, Bothwell Road, Hamilton. Club £10, Paddock £5 (£3). 6.45pm.
I Ayr Ayr Racecourse, 2 Whitletts Road, Ayr. 0292 264179. Club £10, Eglinton £6. First race 6.45pm.
I Ayr Ayr Racecourse, 2 Whitletts Road. Ayr. 0292 264179. Club £10, Eglinton £6. First race 2.40pm.
TENNI Sunday iii—Saturday 25
I Edinburgh Championships Craiglockhart Sports Centre, Edinburgh. Local hopefuls don their Agassi-ster baseball caps and attempt to emulate the great man’s recent Wimbledon triumph.
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The List 17- 3OJuly 1992 49