The Open Diary: Stenson fears a kicking as ice cream goes unsold


It was a very different day at Royal Troon for Friday's second round of the 145th Open Championship.

Having been treated to sunshine for the opening 18 holes, players and spectators had to contend with the wind and rain in South Ayrshire.

But it seemed to bring the best out of the field once they stepped off the course, with some memorable soundbites in the offing.

If you want to hear about them, read on for our daily diary from golf's oldest major.



Golf's inclusion at the Olympics has led to repeated questions about how a gold medal would compare to winning a major.

Henrik Stenson was put on the spot to make a call on which he would prefer out of those two, with the Ryder Cup thrown in for good measure.

And, with his fellow Europeans practically within earshot, it's no wonder he put the latter top of the list.

He explained after his stunning second-round 65: "See, if I say I'll take Olympic gold and the Open Championship, I'm going to have 11 guys kicking me when I walk outside."



The Scandinavian contingent were in good form on and off the course. Soren Kjeldsen shot a 68 to stay in contention and then reflected on an altogether less enjoyable memory.

Asked for his best and worst moments at Open Championship, he said: "Well, I'll start with the worst: It was at Birkdale. I had a really good tee time, I thought, 0652 on Thursday morning, and it came down so hard all day and it was so windy.

"I'll never forget walking off the 18th tee. There was one guy from Danish media. You could see that he was all dry. He had just had a nice cup of coffee I could smell on his breath, and I had shot 11-over and thought I didn't do too bad. It was crazy.

"His first question was like, 'What happened out there?'. That was probably a low point."



During Thursday's sun-kissed opening round, an ice cream was just the ticket.

On Friday, though, the heavy rain made a frozen treat about as desirable as a slap in the face with a wet kipper. 

And so an ice cream van stood forlornly between the 18th grandstand and the first fairway, attracting not so much as a glance from the passing crowds.



Not to keep bleating on about the weather or anything, but it was pretty bleak.

So spare a thought for the various staff and volunteers who were duty-bound to spend hours getting drenched.

Each three-ball is accompanied by someone carrying a little scoreboard for the group's totals and Matt Kuchar decided to bring a little sunshine to the helper in his trio.

The amiable American signed a ball and handed it over as a little memento.



Sometimes you just have to let someone tell the story for you. So over to you,  Andrew 'Beef' Johnston:

"Oh, man, it's a bad story. Just when I was a kid, if I'd grow my hair out, I'm quarter Jamaican so it goes curly. So one of my friends said, 'Look at your head, it looks like a big bit of beef. You've got a beef head.'

"And honestly it just stuck. Now everyone calls me Beef. It's been shortened to Beef."



Shane Lowry is known for his lighthearted demeanour so it was little surprise he managed to raise a chuckle even after missing the cut.

The affable Irishman stepped off the 18th green and somewhat hesitantly into the mixed zone, where one insistent journalist directed him onto one of two podiums kitted out with microphones.

Lowry, who had seemed content to address questions without the aid of any sound amplification, appeared bemused by the request.

"You want to hear from me? I was seven over," he joked.