Waiting the hardest part for Open alternates


GULLANE, Scotland – Brian Davis remembers waiting and eating, and waiting some more.

At the 2006 Open Championship, Davis began the week as the first alternate. In fact, he was the first man in, or out depending on the circumstances, for nearly two weeks, so of course the Englishman made the trip to Scotland to play the game’s oldest championship.

It turned out to be the shortest work week of his career.

“It sucks,” Davis said of not getting to play the ’06 Open at Royal Liverpool. “I fancied my chances but I just sat around all day. It’s miserable ... I probably couldn’t have played because of all the food I’d eaten.”

Davis relayed that story to Charles Howell III last week at the John Deere Classic, which might explain why Howell withdrew his name from the alternate list on Sunday.

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Now the decision to travel to Muirfield for the year’s third major may be up to Brendon De Jonge, who is currently the second alternate behind Joost Luiten. Word on the Muirfield practice tee is that Peter Hanson is nursing an injury and may not play, which would move de Jonge into the top standby spot.

According to de Jonges’ manger with Crown Sports, he plans to play this week’s Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi. If he lands a spot at Muirfield by Wednesday he will travel to Scotland. If he doesn’t it is business as usually in Madison, Miss.

After de Jonge, next on the clock is David Lingmerth followed by Ryan Palmer, who also doesn’t plan to make the trip unless he is in the field. Stay tuned.