The Open Diary: Star-studded quartet pull in crowds

Updated: 

A star-studded practice grouping captured much of the attention at Royal Birkdale on Tuesday.

For information on their efforts and much more besides, take a look at the latest daily Open diary from our reporters on the ground in Southport.

 

BIG THREE DRAW CROWDS

Even on practice days The Open can pull in the crowds and the biggest draw on Tuesday was a group comprised of Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas.

When you put three of the world's top 15 alongside a genuine all-time great, it tends to attract a bit of a following.

Seeing the sun-drenched fairways lined with throngs of spectators two days out from the real action beginning was a brilliant reminder of the allure of golf's oldest major.

And Rahm provided a real highlight for his followers on the par-five 17th, hitting his second shot to three feet - with the aid of a helpful bounce - before tapping in for eagle.

 

I'LL PLAY THAT...

Mickelson is known for his inventive style of play and there's no doubting he can pull off a few spectacular shots.

But when the five-time major winner went way left with his second at the sixth, he appeared to be in some trouble.

As the American made his way down the fairway to locate his wayward shot, he soon discovered he had managed to clear a spectator path and bury his ball in deep brush on steep bank.

It was plugged, out of bounds and almost inaccessible, but Mickelson playfully approached the nearby and joked: "Ah, I see it - I'll play that!".

That's too difficult even for you, Lefty.

 

ROSE NOT GIVING AWAY TRADE SECRETS

As a major winner and Olympic champion, Justin Rose knows a thing or two about the game of golf.

He is also a great ambassador for the sport, but that doesn't mean he will gladly give away all his trade secrets.

At his media conference Rose was asked about having been sat next to Li Haotong at a recent dinner and whether he offered the young Chinese hopeful any tips.

The Englishman's lips remained somewhat sealed, as he replied: "He really is a character and I enjoy his company, and he's obviously an incredible talent. 

"But I can't remember what I dished out, but it wouldn't have been the good stuff. I keep that to myself."

 

THAT'S A RAP

In a news conference following his practice round, Rahm was probed on his love of rap music - with a reporter asking: "What rap quote would sum up what you're trying to do?"

Seemingly wary that several answers could get him into trouble, a smiling Rahm replied: "To pick one, it's a little hard. Especially with the language that is spoken in those songs, I don't really want to say anything bad on TV or anything."

The Spaniard went on to reveal the two Eminem songs - 'Not Afraid' and 'Till I Collapse' - that he likes to listen to for motivation before beginning a round.

A large number of people are backing Rahm to fare well this week and will be hoping he does not 'Just Lose It' over the coming days.