TURNBERRY, Scotland -- It was just another early-morning tee time for Lloyd and Elliot Saltman. But it was hardly just another venue. First off at 7:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, the brothers from Scotland were getting in their fourth and final tune-up at Turnberry in preparation for the Open Championship -- the first pair of siblings since the Ballesteros' in 1983 to qualify.
"Nothing unusual," said Elliot after the round. "We've played a lot of golf together. Just never in a setting like this."
Together, that is. Lloyd has experience in the Open, having finished tied for 15th as an amateur at St. Andrews in 2005. "That was kind of a dream week," said Lloyd, now playing as a professional. "To grab a spot was unbelievable, really. It wasn't something I was thinking about. It was just something I went along and played. It was a bit of a shock. I've used as much as a I can of that to get to where I am now, and hopefully that will help me this week."
For Elliot, who qualified at Western Gailes, that week was a learning experience as well. "I kind of saw from outside the ropes what Lloyd was experiencing," said Elliot. "It made me work harder and strive to see that my brother was doing so well and I wanted to be in the same position."
Now four years later, he is, with another brother, Zack, on his bag for the week making this Open Championship truly a family affair. In fact, the entire Saltman clan, including girlfriends, is sharing a house for the week with the boys' mom, Dawn, providing home-cooking. "We like to be together and share our experiences," said Lloyd, noting that he and Elliot share a house (with Elliot handling the chores of washing and ironing).
This week, however, Elliot's game is on the only task he has at hand, a process he has been working on with Bob Torrance, who is trying to get him to control his ball flight better. Lloyd, meanwhile, has been taking short-game instruction from Mark Roe. So what do the brothers expect this week?
"It's nice to be representing Scotland in the Open Championship, but to be honest, the expectations are really from ourselves," said Lloyd, who indicated that those expectations are not exactly low when he added "I think anything is possible."
-- E. Michael Johnson