So high are the levels of excitement ahead of the 137th Open Championship at Birkdale in the GM Office that one member of the team has worked out how many seconds there are tee-off time.Following Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia (under the ropes, it’s a grand life!) for the last round at Carnoustie was undoubtedly the best piece of live sporting action I’ve ever seen. Now 12 months on we are ready to do it all again! Thank the Lord or the R&A (is there a difference?) that the Open is not like the football World Cup, and not just in that it only happens once every four years.

Anyway we are now exactly 1,123,200 seconds from teeing off at the 137th Open Championship, well actually now we are probably five or six or seven seconds less than that . I am a fast typer you see. That’s the huge advantage of counting down to events in seconds: things appear to come round so much quicker.

Emails have been flying round this office for the last week or so as details are finalised for our en-masse decamp to Southport for 10 days or so. Excitement levels are extremely high, helped by the fact that we have just booked our pre-tournament golf at Hillside and Formby and been told that there is one of England’s finest curry houses just minutes from the house we are staying in. Happy days indeed.

Three of the office have been lucky enough to play Birkdale in the last 12 months and we are all making sure that the rest don’t forget that fact. Is there anything worse than watching Ernie hit his drive in the middle of the Open and hearing your buddy carp on about how he parred this hole with a audacious flop-shot up and down? But of course, there is nothing better than being that person, re-living your round through the pros!

For those who don’t know Birkdale so well, you are about to be blown away. It’s a simply magnificent track and definitely gets my vote as the best layout in England. It’s brutally beautiful and impossible until the wind blows when, for you and I, it becomes unplayable yet somehow still infinitely enjoyable. I think you’ll see what I mean come July 17.

Sergio, Padraig, Poults, Justin, Lee? Crikey with Tiger not in the field even I might win the Claret Jug this year. Of course we will miss the greatest golfer ever to pick up a 3-iron but wow is it going to be exciting seeing who steps up and grabs this magnificent opportunity. Oh, and some more good news; now it’s only 1,122,555 seconds until blast-off.