The tabloids have been buzzing all week about Tiger Woods and Nick Faldo playing together the first two rounds, fueled by Woods' comments Tuesday that he would be surprised if Faldo wanted to talk.
But there was talk and a handshake Wednesday afternoon on the practice range.
According to photographers who were across the street on the range, Faldo and Woods chatted briefly, then shook hands. Faldo later circled behind him and spoke with swing coach Hank Haney as Woods continued to hit balls.
The frosty relationship stems from Faldo making critical comments, which eventually made their way back to the Woods' camp, of a bad swing by Woods at the 2005 Buick Invitational.
One tabloid noted they had not spoken a word since that tournament. Then again, Woods and Faldo are so far removed from each other that they might not have seen each other in 18 months.
John Daly swapped his driver for a guitar, playing at the famous Cavern venue that helped start the Beatles on their rocket path to stardom.
Taking time off from his British Open preparations, the 1995 champion received warm applause for his rendition Tuesday night of 'Knocking on Heaven's Door' and 'Lost Soul,' a song he wrote himself.
'I was a little bit nervous considering all the great bands that have played here,' he said. 'But I know I am not that good, so it took the edge off. I'll be more nervous at Hoylake when the tournament starts.'
Daly will play Thursday with Colin Montgomerie and Stuart Appleby.
McCORMACK TO THE HALL:
The late Mark McCormack, a pioneer in sports marketing whose handshake deal with Arnold Palmer led to the creation of IMG, was selected Wednesday for the World Golf Hall of Fame through the Lifetime Achievement category.
McCormack, who died in May 2003, will be inducted Oct. 30 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., along with Larry Nelson, Vijay Singh, Marilynn Smith and the late Henry Picard.
'Very few things could have pleased me more than to get word that Mark had been chosen for induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame,' said Palmer, who will introduce him at the ceremony.
After making the deal with Palmer, McCormack signed Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, giving him the 'Big Three' in golf.
He later formed a media division (TWI), which became the world's largest non-network producer of televised sports. Among tournaments created by IMG is the HSBC World Match Play Championship in England, and McCormack was behind the development of the Official World Golf Ranking, used by the four majors to determine their fields.
Brad Faxon got in another practice round Wednesday, but it might be his last at Royal Liverpool.
Asked how he was doing, Faxon winced and said, 'Depressed.'
He was sixth alternate when he flew from Rhode Island to Hoylake on Monday, hopeful that none of the players ahead of him on the list would show up and enough players would drop out for him to get a starting time Thursday.
Trevor Immelman withdrew Tuesday night because his wife gave birth to their first child (a boy they named Jacob), and the news went out soon enough for first alternate Andrew Buckle of Australia to catch a flight from St. Louis.
The second alternate is Jesper Parnevik, who lives in Florida. He was in his native Sweden on holiday, but when he heard he moved up to first alternate, he came to Royal Liverpool.
'I don't think Brad was too happy to see me,' Parnevik said.
Then again, the Swede wasn't all that thrilled when he stored his clubs in the locker room Wednesday afternoon.
'It's getting slimmer,' Parnevik said of someone else withdrawing.
His last hope might be Seve Ballesteros, who has not played the British Open since 2001 and has a history of saying he will play tournaments, only to withdraw before they start.
But the Spaniard is using his son as a caddie this week, and he did play in the French Open last month, badly missing the cut.
'It looks like he's keen on playing,' Parnevik said. 'I don't think he's played here before, and he wants to play.'
No one in the field has played Royal Liverpool, last used in the rotation in 1967.
If Parnevik does get in, at least he'll have his regular caddie.
Lance Ten Broeck was coming to Britain, anyway, because he will try to qualify for the Senior British Open on Monday.
Mark Calcavecchia wanted to beat the heat Wednesday, and he was on the steps of the clubhouse at Royal Liverpool shortly after 5 a.m., wife Brenda along as his caddie.
'The door was locked, and we couldn't get the clubs,' Calcavecchia said.
They knocked on the door until an attendant came by, only to inform them that the course would not open until 7 a.m.
'That wasn't going to work,' Calcavecchia said.
He got his clubs, headed to the first tee and was done playing by 9 a.m.
TOUGH AT THE TOP:
Five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson believes too many modern players are too comfortable to develop a winning mentality, and he quoted Shakespeare to state his case.
The 75-year-old Australian, who won the title 50 years ago on the Royal Liverpool links for his third straight claret jug, says there is so much money in the game that players are happy to finish in the top 10.
'I think not too many people actually want to win desperately or have it in their makeup that they really squirm if they don't win,' he said on the eve of the 135th Open. 'I think a lot of people are content to be not the managing director but to be a general sales manager or something like that. The responsibility of the top is too much for most people.
'I think, as Henry IV said, 'Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown'. Not everybody wants the crown.'
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