And then there's another name making his presence felt and it's hardly obscure. Yes, somewhere on high, the late, great golf club innovator Ely Callaway is smiling. Colin Montgomerie, Pierre Fulke and Jesper Parnevik- one, two and three on the leader board-are all Callaway players.
That this is happening under the auspices of the Royal and Ancient is an interesting twist. The R & A's deemed that Callaway's ERC 2 driver, illegal under USGA rules, is acceptable. And Fulke's using the ERC 2.
Why the split between golf's governing bodies? The USGA feels strongly that distance limits must be maintained otherwise the value of skill and shot making are further eroded. The R & A seems to be saying that the extra eight to 10 yards produced by an ERC 2 are simply not that significant, especially at a course like Royal Lytham and St. Anne's, where distance means little.
Should Fulke win, he'll likely not get full credit. The focus no doubt will be on the club. And in the great golf course in the sky, master marketer Ely Callaway will chuckle and then try to put his latest oversized creation in the hands of the big fella upstairs.