Factory worker makes most of British Open chance


First Posted: 7/17/2014

HOYLAKE, England — On a typical Thursday at 10:30 a.m., John Singleton would be making paints and varnishes in a resin factory. Maybe driving around in a forklift truck.

Not this Thursday morning.

On this one-off occasion, Singleton was 10 minutes down the road at the British Open at Royal Liverpool, whipping up the crowd on the first tee before taking the biggest — and most nerve-wracking — shot of his life.

“I just wanted to enjoy it,” the 30-year-old qualifier said, with a huge grin. “I may never get the chance again.”

His boss closed the factory and bought co-workers tickets to watch Singleton on his big day.

Singleton’s friends and relatives were there, too, cheering him on every hole and exchanging remarks with him as he walked the fairways during his opening round.

Singleton wound up shooting a 6-over 78, having been even par after 11 holes. He probably won’t be making the weekend at Hoylake but that doesn’t matter.

“I shot 6 over, it feels like I shot 6 under,” he said. “I just played in the Open Championship.

“I’m not some big-time Charlie who is going to win — obviously I’d love to win — I was there to enjoy myself, soak it all up.”

Singleton, a happy-go-lucky Liverpudlian, took his spot in the 156-man field after winning a sudden-death playoff in final qualifying. A slew of knee injuries kept him out for three years, the main reason why he hasn’t made it on the professional circuit.

So this was his chance in the spotlight — and he was determined not to waste it.

“I was close to tears,” he said of his experience on the first tee. “The Open is at home. To have everyone there was something special.”

Taylor Lewan headed

for jury trial

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Taylor Lewan of the Tennessee Titans is headed for a jury trial in October.

The former Michigan offensive tackle is accused of punching an Ohio State fan after the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines last season. Lewan says he was breaking up a dispute and wasn’t involved in a fight.

He is charged with one count of aggravated assault and two counts of assault and battery. He was told Thursday to return to Ann Arbor District Court on Oct. 27 for jury selection and trial the next day. The Titans will not be preparing that week for a game.

Lewan was drafted No. 11 overall. He is one of three players drafted this year without a contract.

Reds sign ex-Twin

pitcher Diamond

CINCINNATI — Maybe a new organization will mean a new lease on his career.

Released by the Minnesota Twins following off-season surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow, Scott Diamond was a pitcher without a team.

According to reports, the Cincinnati Reds have provided Diamond with that home by signing the left-hander to a minor league contract.

In his first complete season in 2012, Diamond pitched in 173 innings and compilted a 12-9 record with a 3.54 earned run average. However, he led the league in walks per nine innings.

Projected as the Twins’ opening day starter last year, Diamond instead went on the disabled list due to his surgery.

Following his recovery, Diamond struggled and posted a 6-13 record with a 5.43 ERA and was demoted to Triple-A.

At the minor league level, things only got worse for the 27-year-old Diamond who had a 6.52 ERA in 80 innings and opposing batters racked up a .328 batting average.

The Twins decided to cut ties and released Diamond.

McEnroe’s son charged

with drug possession

NEW YORK — The son of tennis star and ESPN analyst John McEnroe and actress Tatum O’Neal has been charged with drug possession.

Authorities say Kevin McEnroe and another man were arrested Tuesday night during “a narcotics transaction” in New York’s East Village.

McEnroe didn’t enter a plea at his arraignment Wednesday and was released on his own recognizance.

Police say the 27-year-old McEnroe was in possession of cocaine and prescription medication. He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.

McEnroe’s lawyer tells the Wall Street Journal that there was “nothing remarkable” about the amount of drugs found on her client. She declined further comment.