Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Riley Can't See the Point as He Chases Leader

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Riley Can't See the Point as He Chases Leader

Article excerpt


WAYNE RILEY will today make a reluctant effort to consolidate his challenge for the lead in the Victor Chandler British Open at Woburn.

The London-based Australian goes into the second round just three shots behind the leader, Sweden's Robert Karlsson. But Riley, who earlier this year was accused of acting violently towards another passenger on a jumbo jet, admitted: "I'm not that interested, to be quite honest."

At the end of a round negotiated in a three-under-par 69, the former Australian Open champion said: "I've been playing crap all year. I've been playing crap for three years. The way I've been playing golf, I don't care anymore."

While playing partners Marcus Brier, of Austria, and England's John Bickerton headed for the driving range to hone their challenge for a first prize of [pound]208,000, Riley said: "I'm going home now. What's the point of standing on the practice ground for three hours? I've been doing that for three years and have got nowhere."

He has banked prize money of nearly [pound]1.5 million during 23 years on the professional golf circuit, but in 11 starts on the European Tour since the plane incident Riley has missed seven halfway cuts.

Riley was fined an undisclosed sum for a "serious breach of conduct" on a South African Airways flight to the Heineken Classic in Perth, Australia, three months ago.

The 38-year-old golfer was involved in an argument with another passenger and crew members had to threaten him with handcuffs before he would calm down.

Riley explained he had been drinking on the 12-hour flight because he was a nervous flier. He later undertook "to resolve my behaviour problems and adhere to the requests of the PGA Tour in relation to my problem".

Karlsson has enjoyed better fortune. One of the tallest players on the European Tour at 6ft 5ins, he won the Spanish Open in April and that has put him in contention for a place in the European Ryder Cup team to play the United States at The Belfry in September. …

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