On Sunday lunchtime the Golf Monthly funbus left London for the Lancashire coast carrying five fresh-faced, over-excited journalists ready to get their teeth into the 2008 Open Championship. With the prospect of great golf and the odd party or five, giddiness levels were at an all-time high. Fast-forward 24 hours to Monday lunchtime and chronic fatigue has well and truly set in. Allow me to connect the dots…

No sooner had we arrived in Southport last night than we found ourselves in the Grill Inn drinking far too much red wine. This was a big mistake for two reasons. Firstly, Open week offers a glimpse into what life must have been like for George Best (bar the women). Either extremely lively or unbelievably tired, there’s not much in between and by the time the Open Champion is crowned on Sunday we’re all ready to check into the priory. Secondly, team GM had a 7.30am tee-time at nearby Hillside this morning. Needless to say, consuming copious amounts of vin rouge until 1.30am is no way to prepare for one of the UK’s toughest links courses. To make matters worse, due to a strange set of circumstances too boring to bother explaining here, the player finishing last would not get the chance to play at Formby tomorrow.

Two holes in and yours truly was in serious trouble, and I’m not talking hangovers here. It quickly became apparent that the brand spanking new golf shoes I’d acquired for the week (I’d use the word ‘bought’ but I’d be lying) were half a size too small. Just as the clubhouse became a dot on the horizon, the skin on the back of my feet started to rub off. Much to the amusement of my playing partners I had no choice but to play the remainder of the front nine without shoes. Think golfing Ghandi and you’ll get the picture.

The last laugh however, was mine. At the ninth I hobbled into the clubhouse and slipped on my street shoes. I came out all guns blazing and showed the others how to play. The huge bets that were set last night worked in my favour and I ran out a richly rewarded winner. Jezz and Mike battled it out for the last spot at Formby, in the end Jezz was unable to hang on. The good news for you, if not for him, is that he’ll be blogging bright and early tomorrow morning! Bad luck old boy.