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Tour News (posted 8th October 1998)

Mark O'Meara fails royal protocol test

St Andrews, Scotland - Being the Masters and Open champion, Mark O'Meara appeared the ideal player to partner golf-loving Prince Andrew in the pro-am before the Alfred Dunhill Cup.

He had one problem. What to call his highness.

"When I first met him I said: "Hello, Prince Andrew, I'm Mark O'Meara. I called him Andrew the rest of the day. O'Meara said after their round at the Old Course. "I don't know if that's right or wrong."

He found out.

"No? It was wrong? I'm sorry," the slightly embarrassed American said. "No disrespect intended. He didn't have a problem with it. I called him Prince a few times so that makes up for it."

John Daly, who teams up with O'Meara and Tiger Woods on a United States team in the 16-nation championship at the home of golf, said he wasn't flustered when he played golf with President Bush.

"When I met George Bush or the first time, I said `Hi, George, how ya' doin?"' Daly said.

According to O'Meara, Prince Andrew, who bears a remarkable likeness to former Open champion Justin Leonard, occasionally played like him, too.

"He played extremely well," O'Meara said. "I think he shot four-over-par, playing off seven. That's what he told me. He was fun to play with. It was quite an honor."

One he'd like to have again.

"I gave him my phone number in Orlando and said that if he wanted to come and play at our development with Tiger and Payne Stewart he can," O'Meara said. "If he comes to Florida, we'd love to have a game with him."

O'Meara said the prince, who has played for six or seven years, needs to work on his short game.

"He has a good backswing and downswing," O'Meara said. "He hits it long enough and he hit some nice putts today. The short game is the thing."