It’s Wednesday morning and the first thing

to report is the biblical deluge of rain that is currently beating the marquee

roof of the media centre. The giant tent is creaking and billowing, reminding

us all that this links golf business can be fairly nasty. Of course, the impact

this rain will have on the already lush green turf outside will be dramatic.

The big hitters will be rubbing their hands and stretching their muscles – the

likes of JB Holmes and Dustin Johnson are not to be ruled out.

Anyway, that’s enough about the golf for

now as I’ll divert my attention to the events at St Andrews last night. The

annual Association of Golf Writers dinner took place within the tented village

bringing together hundreds of noteworthy guests including Lee Westwood, Colin

Montgomerie and Golf Monthly’s very own guest, Graeme McDowell. The Englishman

was presented with the Golf Writer’s Player of the Year award for 2009 and

during his excellent acceptance 

speech he turned to Tim Finchem (the top man at the PGA Tour) and said,

“I’d like to congratulate Steve Stricker. It’s great to see an American win in

the US!” The audience erupted in laughter but Mr Finchem will of course be

hoping that it’s he who will be laughing last at the end of this week.

Montgomerie picked up an award on behalf of

Seve Ballesteros who, as we all know, couldn’t make it to St Andrews. His

eloquent speech was a mark of the very high esteem the Ryder Cup captain holds

the Spaniard. Seve’s efforts here in 1984 are fondly remembered and those

iconic images of him impishly fist-pumping on the final green will surely be

replayed again and again.

Those players in attendance but not asked

to speak included Luke Donald, Robert Karlsson, Geoff Ogilvy and Darren Clarke.

These are the sort of events that only happen at majors and they seem to

underline the importance of the week. What’s more, the feeling among the

British press corps is one of great optimism. There is every reason to believe

that we may have yet another European or even British major winner within our

ranks come Sunday evening.