THE OPEN DIARY: Cameron Smith snubs professional autograph hunters, Hoylake member handed honour of first shot and marshalls kitted out in £400 Hugo Boss jackets

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THE OPEN DIARY: Cameron Smith snubs professional autograph hunters, Hoylake member handed honour of first shot and marshalls kitted out in £400 Hugo Boss jackets

  • Cameron Smith was stopped by fans with bundles of yellow Open flags
  • The honour of the first shot has fallen quite by chance to a Hoylake member
  • The 1350 marshalls at the Open don’t get paid but they will leave with one bonus 

Drama has not been in short supply off the course in recent times as men’s professional golf suffered a seismic split before an equally shocking possibility of peace.

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On the course, in this year’s majors at least, that has not been the case as Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka and Wyndham Clark won the Masters, US PGA and US Open respectively with relatively little final-round fuss.

All that could be about to change if the R&A get their way in the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, where changes made since Rory McIlroy’s victory in 2014 are intended to produce a dramatic climax to the year’s final major.

Most significantly, a new par-three – the 17th – has been created as part of a re-routing of the closing stretch which could play a large role in deciding who is left holding the Claret Jug on Sunday evening.

Ahead of the action, Mail Sport’s Ian Ladyman rounds up some of the major talking points. 

Cameron Smith was stopped by fans with bundles of yellow Open flags under the arms

Cameron Smith was stopped by fans with bundles of yellow Open flags under the arms

Smith snubs professional autograph hunters

Days after Manchester United officially asked professional autograph hunters to stop harassing their players, the world’s top golfers have been taking a stand of their own. 

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Stopped by the practice chipping green by a group with bundles of yellow Open flags under the arms, defending champion Cameron Smith was unimpressed. 

‘We will sign for kids,’ said a member of Smith’s management team. 

‘But we are not signing all those just so you can put them on eBay.’

There is always money to be made when the Open comes to town and in Hoylake the tills are already ringing. 

Indeed some pubs and bars have introduced an unofficial tourist tax, charging visitors more than locals for drinks with residents asked to produce ID cards showing they live in the area.

A free view of the action

This year’s Open was sold out months ago but the clamour to see the action goes on. 

Some fans have been sitting on deck chairs on the other side of the course boundary on Stanley Road with a chainmail fence proving no barrier to watching the action on the 2nd fairway. 

What that view will be like with the galleries flooding across the links remains to be seen.

First shot honour for Hoylake member

The first shot of any Open is always a special moment and this year the honour has fallen quite by chance to a Hoylake member. 

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At 27, Matthew Jordan has been a member here for two decades and qualified for the championship at West Lancashire earlier this month. 

The Hoylake resident tees it up at 6.35am on Thursday with Richie Ramsay and Branden Grace. 

‘It is an amazing honour,’ Jordan said.

Open marshalls get to keep the Hugo Boss waterproof jackets that retail north of £400

Open marshalls get to keep the Hugo Boss waterproof jackets that retail north of £400

Marshalls kitted out in Hugo Boss jackets

The 1350 marshalls working at this year’s Open don’t get paid and do it for the love of a tournament that could not take place without them. 

They will leave with one bonus, though, as they get to keep the Hugo Boss waterproof jackets that retail north of £400. 

Some of last year’s models can be found for sale on the internet.  Used, of course!



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