Thought for the Day:
Frustration is trying to find your glasses without your glasses
After the Lord Mayor’s Show
I always feel just a little sympathy for the golfers who win the week immediately after a Major, especially if it’s a Masters as dramatic as the one just taken by Blubber Watson. We’re still on a high from watching that magnificent golf course and the superb final round it so often produces. And most of the top names in the game don’t play in the immediate aftermath of a major because it takes so much out of them and they know in advance that they will be either celebrating victory or, more likely, licking their wounds. Yet despite the fact that the field for the Maybank Malaysian Open was not quite, how can we put this, stellar, big respect is owing to Louis Oosthuizen. The man with, in my mind at least, the perfect swing and a putting stroke to match, shrugged off the disappointment of missing out on a green jacket in a playoff by strolling to victory. Having travelled over 12,000 miles in just over two weeks, crossing 12 time zones in the process and having to play 26 holes on the final day, he nevertheless shot four sub-70 rounds to win by three. I don’t know what his fitness regime is but perhaps we all need to try it.
Let’s hear it for the big guy
Talking of fitness, one man who doesn’t have a permanent place in the mobile gym that’s an essential component of all tours nowadays is Carl Pettersson, the burly Swedish-born golfer who’s now a naturalised American. Like Ooosthuizen, the big fella cruised the final round, in his case to take the RBC Heritage title by five strokes over Zach Johnson. Pettersson couldn’t beat a fat man in a race to the bus stop but that’s because he is the fat man. He once shed 30 pounds but discovered that his swing disappeared along with the extra weight and said that his recipe for getting back in shape (well, round is a shape) was to drink 10 beers and eat a tub of ice cream before going to bed. He added: ‘Ultimately, just ‘cause you don’t look like an athlete doesn’t mean you’re not an athlete. We’re not running a marathon out here, we’re walking 18 holes.’
They are words that I have taken to heart and I now regard my unfit, overweight and sadly flabby torso as evidence that I am, in fact, a finely honed golfing machine. The realisation does not lose me any poundage from my frame but it has taken a weight off my mind.
You kidder, you
Mention of Zach Johnson brings to mind one of the many unsavoury revelations concerning Tiger Woods that have been revealed in The Big Miss, Hank Haney’s book about the six years he spent as Eldrick’s swing coach. In advance of the 2006 Ryder Cup, American captain Tom Lehman thought it would be good to bring his team together for a bonding couple of days at the K Club, and decided to make the golfers share rooms. Tiger was paired with Zach Johnson, who is a devout Christian, and it turns out that Mr Woods is a bit of a scamp when it comes to practical jokes. He made a point of subscribing to the hotel’s 24-hour porn channel, and of making sure that the TV was on whenever Zach came into the room. Tiger later told Haney: ‘It was so funny watching him acting like everything was normal. I got him pretty good.’
So if anyone ever tells you that Tiger Woods doesn’t have a sense of humour, you can agree that no, he doesn’t.
Hold the front page
The other Haney Titbit that was widely reported is that Ian Poulter blagged himself a ride on Tiger’s private jet. Having earlier approached Woods on the range and asked: ‘How are we getting home?’ Poulter was given a noncommittal reply but nevertheless turned up at the airport. Once airborne, Tiger texted Haney the message: ‘Can you believe how this dick mooched a ride on my plane?’
So Ian Poulter is brash, arrogant, cocky, presumptive and has more front than Dolly Parton. Is this news?
Quote of the Week:
One reason why golf is such an exasperating game is that a thing we learned is so easily forgotten, and we find ourselves struggling year after year with faults we had discovered and corrected time and again