Golf

Beeb don't quite have golf highlights down to a tee

Rory McIlroy had a tough Saturday at the Open
Kevin Farrell

THE good oul' Beeb was all over the Open Championship highlights at Royal Birkdale at the weekend like nobody's business. Think multiple Major champion with a claret jug full of opioids and the comfiest steering wheel a rock of Benjamins can buy and you start to get the picture.

Ample opportunity was there for non-Sky subscribing plebs to pop on the pink Pringles, pop open the green Pringles and kick back for a couple of hours to take in a whistle stop fix of the day's play – a £147 licence dependent.

Yes, the world's most prolific stick swingers this side of county hurling and dissident republicanism going mano a mano is surely never to be sniffed at this weather – especially on a tricky links course laden with tipsy Scousers in knocked off waterproofs squealing Kuuuuuuccccchhhh every millisecond at Matt Kuchar.

It wasn't without hazard either. Hammering a rake of long cone tees into the ossicles of each eardrum rather than listening to Peter Allis spew musty divots about Palmer, Player and the local mammals from Thursday to Sunday was always going to be at the individual viewer's discretion, mind you.

Saturday night's offering, though, was as much coverage as some of us could wangle. Inconveniences like real life contrived to deny good men with a few each-way dockets a good clear run at the remote control as usual.

Anyway, what did we learn about 'moving day' as wee Hazel used to call day three when she wasn't having the craic with her 'baizies' JP and Ken Doc at the business end of the Crucible?

Well, Hazel Irvine - most definitely the finest snooker and golf anchor from Scotland in my lifetime anyway - has seemingly rolled her last R for our Rory.

Bunkers and fairways have been abdicated well before her presumably hefty - and well deserved - payslip could be dragged kicking and screaming through Twitter's darkest alleys.

In her place is fellow Scot Eilidh Barbour. And I say, the transition through the swing and those purring consonants, thankfully, has been seemingly seamless. Still there, though, is the incomparable and surely underpaid Ken 'On The Course' Brown.

The amazing [Brandon] Grace had already posted a record-breaking card of 62 while I was speed reading 'A Tiger Comes to Tee' to a tired and confused dependent. The South African had barged headlong onto the leaderboard from nowhere.

How sweet the round to save a wretch like him... but we eventually joined the action with leader Jordan Spieth gnawing on a bundle of gum while chewing up the field on the 12th and our Rory struggling to stay in the mix on his way to the 14th at just one under.

A prowling Ken used his phalanx of cones, range balls and a flapping damp sheet of pin positions to explain the pitfalls of the green on the par three ahead. Rory soon snatched at his birdie chance having failed to take no-time Major winner Ken's sage-like advice.

A missed eagle chance at the next was a severe kick in the TaylorMades. Three holes and a meh interview later, the world number four was left crossing everything for an overnight tornado, earthquake and tsunami to give him any sort of fighting chance tomorrow.

Very soon, Ken was back out #onthecourse with a par five-sized white board straight outta Ikea and a new set of felt tips, drawing crap pictures of trees, fairways and sand traps that would scunder the life clean out of any preschooler with hands and a crayon.

I'd had their golf highlights up to here by this stage. A clutch of dockets was ripped to shreds and flung at an octogenarian commentator's blethering boulder like a textbook flop shot from the gentlest of rough.

The sooner Match of The Day starts again on Saturdays, the better for everyone if you ask me, Peter.

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