It’s a strange atmosphere here in the media centre at Royal Birkdale as everyone waits for the Lord Mayor’s show to get under way.

The old, established hero hacks, your John “Hoppy” Hopkins, your Lewine Mairs, your venerable Bill Elliotts, are all floating around with the calm assurance that comes with 28 Open Championships while we relative virgins (relative) are all a flutter with nerves, excitement and tingling anticipation.

I can hardly sit still, get the occasional bout of cold sweats and can’t stop an involuntary twitch up towards the scoreboard even though I know nothing could possibly happen up there for an hour or two. God only knows what Norman and Harrington are feeling like – in fact they are probably pretty relaxed which rather concisely explains why I am sitting in here and not practising out there, that and the fact that my parents didn’t push me enough of course.

The general feeling in here seems to be that it will come down to a straight shootout between Harrington and Choi, with a higher percentage of paid wordsmiths seeming to think that the Korean will become the first Asian Open Champion on the very course where the loveable Mr Lu so nearly pipped Lee Trevino to the Claret Jug in 1971. What do we know though – everyone here was convinced Norman would be blown off-course yesterday and look what happened.

One little aside that I can offer is that whoever wins will have to make some spectacularly correct decisions – something I have been struggling with of late. The first came yesterday when after one too many shandies I placed my entire life-savings on Steve Stricker… (sorry sweetheart you might have to pay the mortgage this month!) and the second came just a few minutes later when I thought a Mount Etna was a good name for a pizza. To say it was hot is to say Steve Stricker was not perhaps the best bet on the scoreboard.

We are off to the range to see how the leaders are hitting it – we’ll report back shortly – hope none of them had pizza last night.