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Golf British Open: LEADER ROD'S MISSUS A HIT.

UNKNOWN Aussie Rodney Pampling (left) held his breath and grabbed a shock first round lead.

The former greenkeeper succeeded where the world's best failed in taming Carnoustie with a level-par 71, and put it all down to a breathing technique he learned from his missus. Wife Angela is a clinical psychologist and advised the 29-year-old Queenslander to stay calm by taking a deep breath and counting to five before playing each shot.

Unintentionally sounding like one of the cast from Carry On Carnoustie, he said: "She keeps a watch on my arousal level. You are likely to be over-aroused playing the Open, so I try to slow things down and stop myself from reacting too much.

And, keeping up his Frankie Howerd routine, Hot Rod added: "She watches how I am handling myself on the course. We talk things over afterwards and think about the shots I have hit, especially the bad ones.

"The techniques have been a huge help. I have gone from being ranked in the mid-20s on the Australian Tour to second this year."

Pampling did not even take up golf until he was 21, but he has spent eight days acclimatising to the fearsome conditions here.

His coach Gary Edwin said: "Rodney hits the ball low and straight, he is a good competitor and he is mentally very tough. While other players told themselves the course was unplayable, he treated it as a challenge."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Spink, Alex
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 16, 1999
Words:238
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