Martin Vousden on Open woe and wonders. Whoever saw that coming?

Jul 26 2012

Thought for the Day:
To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research

Reasons to be cheerful?
Ernie Els is my favourite golfer in the world and has been for a long time – for many different reasons. And while his Open victory is welcome, it cannot be celebrated too joyously because any elation occasioned by his win is inevitably counter-acted by feelings of enormous sympathy for Adam Scott. The young(ish) Australian, who wept at the age of 16 when he watched his hero Greg Norman fall apart like a cheap suit in the 1996 Masters (when he blew a six-stroke lead on the final day to hand the green jacket to Nick Faldo), had a similarly bad day at the office. The pundits are predicting that the scars will cut deep and that he will take a long time to recover – assuming that he ever does – but I want to sound a more optimistic note, for several reasons. First, in the immediate aftermath of the worst day of his career he seemed to handle what must be a bitter disappointment with great maturity. Perhaps he was in a state of shock but the way in which he composed himself for the presentation ceremony and inevitable post-round interviews was admirable. Second, he has the recent example of Rory McIlroy to possibly offer a bit of solace; the youngster’s collapse in last year’s Masters followed by a record-breaking win at the US Open has hopefully demonstrated that one disaster does not necessarily blight a career. Third, although most observers, especially Butch Harmon, have swooned about Adam’s swing for a decade or so, until recently his record in the majors has been appalling for one so talented. But over the past couple of seasons that has turned around and he has been a genuine contender. In the last seven majors he has finished tied second and tied eighth in the Masters, tied 15th in the US Open, runner-up in the Open and seventh in the US PGA Championship – not too shabby a record. Third, let us wish that he can take solace from the fact that over four days and 68 holes at Lytham he swung the club beautifully and seemed to be in almost complete control of both his swing and the ball. And unlike Tiger, he took driver and (more…)

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Blatant Ernie Tribute.

Jul 25 2012

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Back to Portrush?

Jul 18 2012

Thought for the Day:
If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

A fitting tribute
Tragedy can destroy or inspire and in the case of Melissa Reid, the devastating loss of her mother seems to have been an inspiration. Just four weeks after Joy and Brian Reid were involved in a serious car crash in Germany as a result of which, Joy died, daughter Melissa, at the age of 24, won the Prague Masters. Her parents followed her career avidly (which is why they were in Germany) and were well-known, respected and more than liked in the nomadic family that is the Ladies European Tour. Melissa puts her victory down to the sense of perspective she has gained – effectively saying that trying to carry a one-stroke lead through the final round of a golf tournament doesn’t amount to a hill of beans after facing such a loss. She is right, of course, but I’m sure that if her mother could speak she would say she is now even more proud of the daughter whose career she followed with such enthusiasm.

Will Ye no Come Back?
The Open Championship has famously only once been played outside Britain, and that was in 1951 when it visited Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. But such has been the buzz surrounding the Irish Open held there earlier this month, it has created real speculation that the claret jug might return. The European Tour event, (won by Jamie Donaldson) broke all sorts of attendance records and it is clear that there’s a real hunger for top-quality golf in this corner of the UK. The Irish Open was sold out two weeks before the first shot was struck, in itself a rarity, and the total attendance figure for the week of 112,000, broke the 100,000 barrier for the first time ever at a European event. Adding further fuel to the fires of (more…)

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Good golf (Burhill) AND a really good night…

Jul 10 2012

…and all for charity.  The annual Rick Wakeman Charity golf day on August 24th. We’ve played in it before and can confirm that it’s one of the best golf days you’ll find. The course is superb, with a really good bunch of people, fab food and fantastic entertainment in the evening. The money raised goes to ‘SPARKS’ (Sport Aiding Medical Research for Kids) with Great Ormond Street Hospital benefiting.  Over the years, the day has raised over £500k and has improved the lives of so many sick children.

This is what you can expect – (more…)

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Martin Vousden; course set up, slow play and daft tweeting.

Jul 09 2012

Thought for the Day:
The ultimate Christmas stocking filler is a severed foot

There’s dumb, there’s stupid, and then there’s the USGA
The USGA, if no-one else apart from Webb Simpson and his immediate family, must be delighted with the US Open, seeing that none of the competitors managed to break par. We should have expected this after Rory set all sorts of scoring records last year, as it’s a pattern we have seen repeatedly. Someone shoots under par, for the next few years the course set-up is a joke, everyone complains and they gradually relax until a few new records get set. They keep trotting out the line about not wanting to embarrass the best golfers in the world but to identify them, and seem oblivious of the fact that they only identify a particular sort of golfer – which is why people like Andy North and Lee Janzen win two of the bloody things. No point complaining really, the USGA has been making the same dumb mistake for 117 years and it’s not going to change now. And none of which, incidentally, detracts from Webb Simpson’s victory; a pair of 68s at the weekend thoroughly earned the title. The man responsible for the course set-up, Mike Davis, did rescue his reputation, in my eyes at least, by dragging away the numpty in the union jack hat who interrupted the presentation ceremony.

GoKart electric golf trolley

So what did we learn?
• After two superb rounds Tiger went backwards quicker than (more…)

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