Notes Demostrator Protests Rave Reviews for Course

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135th Open Championship HOYLAKE, England -- Tiger Woods can't seem to win a British Open without some type of disruption. There was a streaker at St. Andrews, and purple flour bomb Sunday at Royal Liverpool as he was about to play his third shot from behind the 18th green.
 
A man was heard to shout, 'Fathers For Justice' as six flour bombs were thrown onto the putting surface, drawing boos from the fans sitting around the 18th green. The man was led away by police, who wore plastic gloves to clean away the residue.
 
The flour bombs left small purple stains on the grass but didn't seem to affect the players.
 
'We only saw the paint,' said Sergio Garcia, who was Woods' playing partner. 'We didn't see when they threw it. It's very disappointing to see that happen in a championship like this one is, the best championship in the world. It didn't affect me at all. I wasn't putting through the paint anyway.'
 
Fathers 4 Justice is a campaign for father's rights in child custody cases. Similar devices were thrown at Prime Minister Tony Blair in the House of Commons two years ago during a debate.
 
BIG DAY:
Marius Thorp won't forget Sunday at Royal Liverpool anytime soon.
 
The European Amateur champion got to play the final round with five-time British Open champion Tom Watson. He ended it with a birdie on the final hole for a 1-under 71 to win the silver medal that goes to the low amateur.
 
Thorp finished at even-par 288. His only competition came from U.S. Amateur champion Edoardo Molinari of Italy, who finished at 295.
 
'I played with one of the biggest legends in the game and that was simply fantastic,' Thorp said. 'I learned so much today.'
 
Watson learned a bit, too, such as what it was like to be 18 again.
 
'He's fearless with the putter. I remember those days,' Watson said. 'I reveled in it and I wish I could be like that these days.'
 
Thorp said his parents introduced him to golf, despite the lack of courses in Norway. He said he was inspired by watching Tiger Woods on television.
 
On Sunday, Thorp played in the same final round as Woods, then got his last thrill of the day when he stood next to him at the medal ceremony to receive his award.
 
RISING SUN:
Hideto Tanihara started the final round hopeful of becoming the first Japanese player to win a major.
 
He ended it by missing an 8-foot birdie putt that cost him an automatic ticket to the Masters, spoiling an otherwise good week.
 
Tanihara, playing in his second British Open, closed with a 1-under 71 and tied for fifth with Sergio Garcia at 11-under 277, seven shots behind Tiger Woods. The top four and ties from the British Open are exempt to the Masters.
 
'It's kind of bittersweet,' he said. 'I felt I left a few shots out there today, but on the other hand it is a great finish.'
 
The one consolation? He won't have to qualify for the British Open next year because the top 10 automatically return.
 
'This is by far my best achievement,' Tanihara said. 'I never expected to be in the top 10, but I did expect to play well this week.'
 
Tanihara has played on the Japanese Tour for the last five years, where he has won three times, including once this year. In his last Open appearance in 2003, he missed the cut.
 
RAVE REVIEWS:
Royal Liverpool hadn't been in the British Open rotation for 39 years. Based on how the players felt about it, the venerable club won't have to wait that long again.
 
'Hopefully the R&A will now put this course back on the rotation sooner rather than later,' former U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell said.
 
Tiger Woods called it a 'fantastic test' that allowed for more creativity than usual for a British Open. It was a brown links course, courtesy of a hot, dry spell in England that turned the rough into wispy strands of grass.
 
Asked if the Open should return to Royal Liverpool, the champion replied, 'Yes.'
 
The last Open at Royal Liverpool was in 1967, but the course was dropped from the rotation because of logistical problems getting people to and from the course squeezed into a Liverpool suburb.
 
Those problems were largely overcome at this Open, with some 38,000 people a day attending, and players generally liked what they saw.
 
'It's a very good golf course and it's right there in front of you,' Thomas Bjorn said. 'It's a good test and while it's not the longest the way it played, somehow it has still put up a good test.'
 
Former champion David Duval also liked what he saw.
 
'It was as much about the links experience as any I've played, even St. Andrews,' Duval said.
 
WEARING TWO HATS:
Steve Lucas kept regular hours in the insurance business until he took on a part-time job as caddie for his son-in-law, Sean O'Hair. Lucas was a steadying influence for O'Hair, whose father used boot-camp tactics to train his son to play golf.
 
After a year on tour and a victory last year in the John Deere Classic, O'Hair decided to switch to a professional caddie.
 
Lucas was behind the ropes Sunday, chomping on a cigar, shouting encouragement to his son-in-law. Standing behind the 17th green, he sounded like a caddie again.
 
'Front middle. Let it funnel to the hole,' Lucas said.
 
The ball soared toward the flag, narrowly missed the bunker and stopped 4 feet away for a birdie. Lucas raised both hands over his head and clapped, turning from caddie to father-in-law again.
 
O'Hair birdied the 18th for a 67, matching Tiger Woods for best score of the final round, and he tied for 14th.
 
PLAYING FOR PAY:
Edoardo Molinari stayed an amateur long enough to play in the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.
 
But after closing with a 75, the Italian is ready to turn pro.
 
Molinari, who earned his exemptions by winning the U.S. Amateur last year, will make his pro debut this week at the Deutsche Bank Players Championship in Germany through a sponsor's invitation.
 
He signed with a Swiss sports agency.
 
'The last year has been an incredible journey with many fantastic experiences,' Molinari said.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - 135th Open Championship
  • Course Tour - Royal Liverpool
  • Full Coverage - 135th Open Championship
     
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