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Short Putts: Speedy Monty does it in style

By Staff Reporter

First man to tee off on Thursday at 6.40am, Colin Montgomerie was also the first man to play in the final round yesterday.

Monty (53), who was brought up on the Troon links, played with the club pro, Kieron Stevenson, who was his marker as 81 players made the cut, and someone had to fly solo.

The pair teed off at 7.40 and were finished in two hours, 50 minutes.

"I'm sure those of you who are my age were all brought up on a round of golf taking three hours. I was. I was brought up here," Monty (right) said.

"The sooner we get back to trying to play this game at a sensible pace, the better."

Captain's orders for Clarke

An Irish Ryder Cup captain and an Irish Curtis Cup captain met on the 15th hole in unusual circumstances.

Darren Clarke, skipper of the 2016 European team, had carved his drive right into a situation where metal fencing blocked his line to the green.

Former Curtis Cup captain Claire Dowling (nee Hourihane), a member of the R&A and the referee for the match, had to give a ruling to Clarke.

The player had hoped to have the fencing moved, but it was all inter-locked, so after some discussions Clarke took a drop at a spot designated by the referee - and ended up with a birdie.

Two sides of new star 'Beef'

The galleries have loved Andrew 'Beef' Johnston for his happy-go-lucky style of golf.

'Beef' has engaged with the fans at every opportunity, but (a) he's a seriously good golfer and (b) his joy comes from appreciating the good times.

Three years ago, the Englishman had so little money that he was worried about buying Christmas presents for his family.

He admits his huge beard needs a trim.

He has been growing it since October, but said: "I desperately need a haircut and a beard shape-up after this week. I just haven't had time."

Lee keeps focus on his game

Lee Westwood claims the Ryder Cup is not on his mind as he targets a strong finish to the season.

The 43-year-old is currently outside the automatic qualification places for Darren Clarke's team.

He gained some valuable points with a solid but unspectacular display in the Open at Royal Troon, where he finished one over par.

He said: "I'm ticking over, picking points up. My consistency is good but I am not thinking about the Ryder Cup.

"I'm thinking about playing well week-in, week-out and trying to get a win sooner or later. My form is certainly good enough."

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