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The Open News

The Open Notebook


The beard that's feared and Rahm's prank on Lefty

Tiger Woods and Justin Rose may have headlined today's press conferences but there has been plenty of other action around Carnoustie.

Almost all the players have been out for a hit at some point and the crowds are growing ever bigger ahead of Thursday's first round.

Here's some of the day's other news from across the Angus links.

History beckons for bearded Thomas

Last year he wore a tie during the first round, this year Justin Thomas is taking on Carnoustie with a beard.

And - after extensive research here at - we think he would be the first bearded Champion Golfer since Bob Ferguson, who picked up £12 when winning in 1882.

Golf has a long tradition of clean cut and clean shaven heroes but Thomas is looking to change all that this week. Unless Dustin Johnson underlines his world number one status.

"I had two weeks off, I got lazy and couldn’t be bothered to shave, then I got a couple of compliments on the beard, so I kept it! I’d love it to be a good luck charm,” he said.

Justin Thomas

Reed rolls back the years with his new clubs

Patrick Reed is a student of golf history and can’t wait to get creative around Carnoustie - though he won’t be playing with his latest set of clubs.

The Masters champion first visited The Open in 2006, when he was in the gallery to watch Tiger Woods at Hoylake.

And that started a transatlantic love affair with links golf.“I was in awe,” he admitted.

“I was seeing these different types of shots, this creative way of playing and I was just shocked by it. I left there knowing it suited my game.”

Reed even bought some old-style hickory clubs as a souvenir during last week’s Scottish Open.“I can’t wait to try them out, I’ve always wanted a set,” he added.

Rahm runs rampant on the range

When Phil Mickelson left his clubs unattended on the practice green, Spain's Jon Rahm nipped across and nabbed the sticks.

Even playing left-handed he still peppered the pin with some accurate chips.

The two have become close friends since Rahm’s breakthrough last season and enjoyed a practice round together on Tuesday.

Leishman plays to the locals

You can’t be a prouder Aussie than Marc Leishman but he’s gone the extra mile to get some home support behind him.

The former PGA rookie of the year has pimped his golf bag with little Scottish flags - which fans were quick to complement him on.

Can he improve on his tie for second in 2015, when he was edged out by Zach Johnson at St Andrews in a four-hole play-off at a tournament that ran over to Monday?


Eavesdropping on the stretch

We were listening in as anagram-ists An and Na were in deep conversation on the 17th green. Unfortunately we got no inside information on how to tackle Carnoustie but we do know what airlines they flew here and what they thought of them!

Absent champ still has Carnoustie interest

Paul Lawrie, famously crowned Champion Golf here at Carnoustie in 1999, is absent this week with a foot injury - but he’ll be limping around with protege Sam Locke.

The Scottish Amateur champion, 20, is a member of the Paul Lawrie Foundation and came through Final Qualifying with a win at The Renaissance.

“I love working with him and he can cope with the pressure and all that comes with being at The Open,” said Lawrie.

“He’s a really great kid and we’re really excited and he’s going to be a good player.”

Quote of the day

Justin Thomas is a popular man on tour but his friends may look a little differently now.

"It is a very unique group of us, I guess you could say. Obviously, we want to beat each other's brains in.

"I never want to lose to any of my friends, especially my best friends.

"As weird as it is, sometimes it's harder losing to your closest friends than it is someone you don't even know, whether it's bragging rights or whatever it is, but it is a weird feeling."

Picture of the day

Carnoustie may have been hot and dry for much of the week but the clouds have gathered as the Championship approaches.
Rickie Fowler