Historic tournament in tune with times

THE 30th Ryder Cup set one record even before it started with six national anthems being played at the tournament opening ceremony.

Before the rest of Europe joined Britain and Ireland as opponents for the US in 1979, only two were played.

This time the European team included a Swede, Joakim Haeggman, for the first time and also the first Italian, Costantino Rocca. With Masters champion Bernhard Langer, Seve Ballesteros and Jose-Maria Olazabal on the team, that meant the German and Spanish anthems were played also.

The ceremony could have been even longer. Scots Sam Torrance and Colin Montgomerie and Welshman Ian Woosnam line up with Englishmen Nick Faldo, Mark James, Barry Lane and Peter Baker, but they are all covered by the British anthem.

Punter puts faith in US A BRITISH gambler who is renowned for making bets on outsiders is aiming to make a fortune on a big American victory at the Ryder Cup.

The man, who has not been named by bookmakers Ladbrokes, placed a GBP1,000 bet at odds of 66-1 on the Americans to win 181/2 to 91/2 and a further GBP1,000 at 50-1 for them to win by 18-10.

Ladbrokes are confident they will not have to pay out to the gambler. His bets at the Wimbledon tennis championships didn't earn him much either. He bet on Brenda Schultz to win this year's women's singles and she was the first player to be eliminated on the opening day.

Lau looks to bounce back POLICEMAN Lau Kwong-hon will have a point to prove when he tees-off in the fifth Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club Open amateur championship this morning Lau made his senior international debut in last month's Asia-Pacific amateur championships for the Nomura Cup in Kuala Lumpur where he failed to reproduce the consistent form which brought him to prominence.

Consequently he has been left out of the Hong Kong team for November's Southeast Asian championships for the Putra Cup at Fanling.

Duo in contrasting rounds BILL Glasson and Ed Humenik took different paths to the same place, sharing the lead in the rain-shortened first round of the BC Open at Endicott, New York.

Glasson posted his 66 early, when the greens were soft from overnight rain. Humenik started late, and had to battle against high winds that heralded the storm that eventually stopped play with 16 threesomes still on the course.

''At times it was consistent. At times it wasn't'' Humenik said of his round, which included three birdies in a row, and one more birdie sandwiched by two bogeys.

Painful lead for Andrews DONNA Andrews, who nearly pulled out with an aching back, fired a six-under-par 66 to share the first-round lead of the Inamori Classic women's tournament in San Diego with Kris Monaghan.

Andrews said treatment by a tour trainer minutes before her tee-time allowed her to play, despite pain from an old back muscle injury during practice.

''I went out not knowing how my back would do and I probably shortened my swing a little bit,'' said Andrews, who led with Kris Monaghan. ''So I tried not to hit too hard. I used just the right irons.''