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Anorak | Man Of Kent

Man Of Kent

by | 21st, July 2003

‘TO describe Ben Curtis’ victory in yesterday’s British Open golf championship as a shock is something of an understatement.

A claret Sandwich

The 26-year-old American only qualified to play at Sandwich by finishing 13th in the Western Open a fortnight ago – his highest tournament finish before yesterday.

But in beating Thomas Bjorn and Vijay Singh by a single stroke in a dramatic climax, he became the first player for 90 years to win a major title at his first attempt.

The papers hardly know what to say about a man who the Express claims was a 1,000-1 outsider before the tournament started.

‘Curtis Stranger,’ is the Mirror’s back-page pun on the name of last year’s American Ryder Cup captain, Curtis Strange. And ‘Great Unknown’ is the Express’ verdict.

The Mail and the Sun prefer ‘Big Ben’, as Curtis obligingly claims to have been inspired by the sightseeing tour of London he took just days before the championship.

The Express describes yesterday as ‘one of the most incredible days in Open history’ as the unknown from Kent, Ohio was catapulted to the top of the leaderboard ahead of names like Tiger Woods, Davis Love, Vijay Singh and Sergio Garcia.

‘Perhaps predictably, Curtis snapped,’ it says – as he dropped four shots in his closing six holes and fell behind Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn.

But then came Bjorn’s own implosion as three shots from a greenside bunker at the short 16th cost the Dane the title – and earned one Internet punter a cool £87,000.

The Mirror is also celebrating what it describes as ‘the most dramatic [Formula 1] race in recent memory’, with Rubens Barichello’s victory coming only hours after Bernie Ecclestone had cast doubt on the future of the British Grand Prix.

But a fresh shadow was cast over the future of the event after a spectator managed to evade track marshals and get onto the Silverstone tarmac, putting the lives of the drivers in jeopardy.

In the Sun, Jenson Button has no doubt that the man who ran onto Hangar Straight could have caused a fatal accident as cars were forced to take evasive action at 185mph.

‘He obviously didn’t care what happened to himself, but we care what happens to us,’ he said.

But neither nutters at the Grand Prix or unknowns at the Open can knock football off the Star’s back page, which today gives its readers yet another reason to hate Manchester United.

Apparently, United chairman Peter Kenyon said the reason why Ronaldinho chose to go to Barcelona rather than Manchester was because he couldn’t handle the big game pressure.

As his World Cup-winning medal proves…



Posted: 21st, July 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink