Those who have read Neil Tappin’s blog from last night will know that while my office colleagues are getting to enjoy one final golfing outing before hitting the laptops hard for the rest of the week, I’m now doing my best Billy no Mates impression in the media centre at 8.10 on Tuesday morning as a result of what can only be described as a personal Hillside howler yesterday.

To rub salt into the wound, as I have no motor myself this week, I’ve had to suffer the ignominy of being dropped off by the boys en route to Formby Golf Club at an earlier hour than I perhaps would have ideally liked on Open Tuesday. All I can say is that I hope the stiff Birkdale breeze turns into a full-blown gale just down the road, the threatened rain moves quickly in, and they arrive at the course just in time to witness a coach-load of camera-laden Japanese tourists teeing off ahead of them!

But ultimately I only have myself to blame – my golf has gone south for a while leaving me with little desire to play anyway, and this will give me the perfect chance to really get stuck into this Open Championship.

Right now I’m looking at the scheduled groupings for today’s practice rounds, with one or two catching my eye:-

• Like me, Monty is also down for a bit of a Billy no Mates session, heading out on his own at 4.00pm – perhaps wise given his crotchety mood of late.
• David Duval is out there all alone with his thoughts – and a still bafflingly absent golf game – right now.
• The nations are sticking together – there’s an Argentine trio of Cabrera, Canete and Romero making its way round right now, a French quartet of Havret, Bourdy, Gonnet and Lima getting underway shortly and a Spanish trio of Garcia, Larrazabal and Jimenez heading out at midday.
• Justin Rose looks to be picking a former Birkdale winner’s brains later on when he heads out with five-time champ, Tom Watson.
• The group that sounds most like a firm of solicitors is currently Poulter, Casey and Boyd. Ian could have done with a little legal advice after last week’s alleged ‘very bad word’ incident at Loch Lomond, but I understand the Englishman has now apparently been cleared of all charges.

Anyway, enough of all that – I’m off to the practice ground to see who’s ripping it, who can barely hit it forwards, and who’s swing is most likely to help spark a revival in my ailing golf game, before heading off for a first look at the controversial 17th green to see what all the fuss is about. Will report back later.