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OPINION

Barclays’ weather bogey

Barclays spends a lot of money promoting its brand through the international golf circuit. Unfortunately, this year its two prestige events have both fallen victim to events outside its control. No, not turbulent markets – but terrible weather. Both its Scottish Open and its simply named The Barclays in the US found themselves reduced more quickly than any bank’s balance sheet, from 72 to 54 holes.

First in July, a week before the British Open, its event at Castle Stuart in the Highlands of Scotland was almost called off because of torrential rain that caused landslides on various parts of the course. This did not stop Englishman Luke Donald taking the title, and cementing his world number one ranking in the process.

Then, in the last week of August, its event in New Jersey had to be finished by Saturday lunchtime, rather than the traditional Sunday evening, because of the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene.

Barclays will be hoping for better luck with the weather for its Singapore Open in November. And for better form from the face of Barclays Golf, multiple major winner Phil Mickelson.

The friend and golfing partner of chief executive Bob Diamond has had a wretched run in the two Barclays events this year – finishing tied for 58th in Scotland and tied for 43rd in New Jersey.

For a decade or more Mickelson has ranked among the world’s top-five golfers. Now he has slipped to ninth place. What would Bob have to say about a similar decline in ranking among his colleagues at Barclays Capital, we wonder?