The Open Diary: More celebrity spotting as the action comes to a close

By Sports Desk July 18, 2021

The 149th Open Championship concluded in thrilling fashion on Sunday as Collin Morikawa claimed the Claret Jug.

It was a fitting finale to a memorable tournament, which marked the return of fans en masse to watch golf's oldest major.

Royal St George's was bathed in sunshine for all four days and it was a joyous event for everyone in attendance.

Stats Perform's man on the ground said a fond farewell to the Kent links, but not before one last wander around the course.

SHELTER FROM THE WARM

The soaring temperatures made walking the course a test of endurance, and not everyone was keen to partake.

What few spots of shade there were soon became occupied by weary bodies, sheltering from the warmth of the sun.

The queues at the water refill points were longer than for the grandstands.

CELEB SPOTTING (TAKE TWO)

It may have been premature to share the story of a chance encounter with British comedian Michael McIntyre on Saturday, as Sunday heralded the arrival of an even bigger celebrity.

Milling around outside the entrance to the media centre, and somehow not surrounded by a large crowd of autograph hunters, was One Direction's Niall Horan.

He's a keen golf fan and can often be seen at the majors rubbing shoulders with the biggest names in the sport.

FLAGGING...

At the end of a long tournament, some members of the media pack wanted a morale-boosting moment, so waited patiently for Champion Golfer of the Year Morikawa to exit from the interview room in hope of an autograph or photo.

Two had souvenir flags with Open Championship branding, in the expectation Morikawa might take the time to sign them.

He bolted through the doors carrying the Claret Jug, saw his waiting fans, but had no time to stop, telling them: "Sorry guys. Maybe I'll see you later."

Oh, the disappointment. 

Related items

  • Matsuyama wins first title since Masters on home soil at Zozo Championship Matsuyama wins first title since Masters on home soil at Zozo Championship

    Hideki Matsuyama won his first PGA Tour title since his Masters triumph in April as he stormed to victory at the Zozo Championship on home soil.

    The Japanese star claimed the seventh win of his career with a brilliant 65 on the final day, gaining four strokes on the back nine.

    Matsuyama had gone into Sunday's action with only a one-shot lead over Cameron Triangle but ended up comfortably triumphing by five shots with a score of 15 under, eagles on the sixth and 18th helping him to glory.

    The 29-year-old had lost a play-off at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in August but this triumph ensures the Masters will not be his sole success of 2021.

    An impressive 66 from Brendan Steele saw him join fellow American Triangle on 10 under to finish the tournament in a tie for second place in Chiba, Japan.

    There was another big gap below that pair, with Mackenzie Hughes, Sebastian Munoz and Matt Wallace finishing four further back on six under in a share of fourth position.

    Reigning Open champion Collin Morikawa and Tommy Fleetwood were among a group of eight players to finish in a tie for seventh place on five under.

  • Masters champion Matsuyama retains Zozo Championship lead Masters champion Matsuyama retains Zozo Championship lead

    Hideki Matsuyama will head into Sunday with a slender one-shot lead in the Zozo Championship on home soil.

    The 2021 Masters champion carded a 68 to remain a stroke clear of Cameron Tringale on 10 under in Chiba, Japan.

    Matsuyama had looked set for a more comfortable night's sleep on Saturday, but a bogey six at the last coupled with a birdie on the same hole for Tringale cut his advantage.

    Sebastian Munoz, Brendan Steele and Matt Wallace all sit on six under par, with Branden Grace and Tommy Fleetwood on the fringes of contention a shot further back.

    Reigning Open champion Collin Morikawa's third-round 67 put him within six of the leader.

  • Matsuyama takes leads at halfway on home soil at Zozo Championship Matsuyama takes leads at halfway on home soil at Zozo Championship

    Hideki Matsuyama has hit the front at the halfway mark of the Zozo Championship on home soil, holding a one-shot lead from Cameron Tringale.

    The 2021 Masters champion, who had been second following the opening day, carded a two-under-par 68 on the second round to claim the lead at eight under after 36 holes.

    Opening-round leader Hiroshi Iwata struggled with a three-over-par 73 to slip four shots off the pace.

    Matsuyama had three birdies and one bogey for his round in cold and rainy conditions in Chiba.

    Tringale moved up the leaderboard with a four-under 66 that included five birdies, finishing by sinking a long putt to be within one shot of Matsuyama.

    Englishman Matt Wallace birdied his final three holes to be two shots behind the Japanese leader and level with Brendan Steele at six under after 36 holes.

    Tommy Fleetwood is five under, with Sebastian Munoz equaling Tringale's round to be four under after two days alongside a group of five other players including Iwata.

    Open champion Collin Morikawa is seven strokes behind after a two-under 68, while Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Xander Schauffele struggled with a round of 74 to be 12 shots back.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.