In Brief: Robert Karlsson 11th hour withdrawal from Open
SWEDEN'S Ryder Cup star Robert Karlsson (right) withdrew from the British Open yesterday, causing consternation among golf fans.
At 6' 5", Karlsson is the tallest player on Tour and he'll need his broad shoulders to take the criticism coming his way for a stunning eleventh-hour decision to pack his bags and leave.
"Just pulled out of the British Open," he revealed on Twitter.
What's the problem: a dose of flu, broken leg or torn ligaments?
No, Karlsson gave up a precious place at golf's oldest and biggest Major because: "I have got into some bad habits in my game and routine that I need to address -- taking a few weeks off."
What about this on Karlsson's Twitter page from a disgruntled punter: "Just pulled out of the British Open ... taking a few weeks off >> S**t -- I'd £10k on you fella! ... to miss the cut"
Karlsson leaves finch pressing snooze button
ENGLAND'S Richard Finch should be grateful to Robert Karlsson for several extra hours in bed this morning.
Finch (right) had been due to go out in the second group with Garth Mulroy at 6.30, which would have necessitated a 4.30 alarm call. However, he now replaces Karlsson in a 1.10 three-ball with Mark Wilson and Branden Grace.
The R&A won't be too unhappy either. The Open field had been overpopulated with 157 players, but now is back to the usual 156 ... so instead of Barry Lane and James Driscoll teeing off at 6.19 today in the first two two-balls, they'll play in a three-ball with Mulroy at 6.30.
Snails warned against breaking house rules
THE wettest summer on record has caused a proliferation of snails in Britain ... but the R&A are determined to eliminate the golfing equivalent, warning slow play rules will be strictly enforced.
Jim McArthur (above), chairman of the Championship Committee, said this is in keeping with R&A policy this year, adding: "We've allowed four hours 30 minutes for the first two rounds (in three-balls) and three hours 45 minutes (two-ball) on Saturday and Sunday.
Each group will be accompanied by a walking official and must meet their time schedule for every hole.
"If they don't respond, we then put them on the clock and deal with them that way," said McArthur.