Posts Tagged ‘rory mcilroy’
I’ve woken up with my apologetic head on this morning.
Firstly I’d like to issue a notice of regret to Chris Tremlett. When he signed for Surrey last spring, I laughed a knowing ha and sentenced him to a permanent residence in the Oval sick bay. I’ve made balsa wood aeroplanes that are more robust than Chris Tremlett I thought to myself. When he was “rested” for the first game of the season the ha grew louder. He probably got injured posing for the team photo I chortled. Ha.
Well now the ha is on me. Chris Tremlett is not only fit. He’s also good. Really good. But I was right about him not being available for Surrey. Sort of.
I’d also like to apologise to Rory McIlroy for the unkind thoughts I’m having about him and his attempts to win the US Open. I genuinely admire McIlroy and the relaxed ebullience he showed after the Masters debacle while everybody else was punching themselves in the face on his behalf. But there is nothing more entertaining in golf than a major blow-out and I can’t help hoping that Rory has something breathtaking in the golfbag to reject this apparent position of impregnability.
To become the first player in US Open history to reach -13 is extraordinary, but the fact he then promptly double-boogered his last hole yesterday suggests that we could be in for some weekend treats. He blew his chances in last year’s British Open with a second round 80, and then repeated the score in the final round of this year’s Masters. Why not mix it up Rorsy? Third round 80. The complete set.
And the winner is……..
Hunter Mahan has not been awarded this accolade not through any sense of schadenfreude against a golfer who probably loves his mum and owns the long toothy face of a whinnying Disney goat. Well maybe a little schadenfreude actually. The Mahan meltdown is particularly poignant given his previously dismissive attitude towards the Ryder Cup. His lachrymose performance at the press conference may dispel any doubt over American enthusiasm for the event, which comes as a stolid comfort for those who hold the Ryder Cup dear as a bastion of not-for-profit competition.
Mahan should accept this honour on behalf of all sportsmen who have learnt of defeat’s enduring propensity to lodge itself in the throat and wreak hell with your vocal cords.
I suspect the Huntsman will choke up again when he finds out about the award.
Luke Donald: Neat player with a concise game that throws back to an era of persimmon woods and toothy coves in tweed plus fours. Sparkling Ryder Cup record and recent form elevates him to gun status.
Ross Fisher: Has an interview technique that could earn him long-term riches as a replacement for Ritalin. That’s all I have to say.
Peter Hanson: Hanson will be hoping that he won’t only be remembered in Ryder Cup lore as the man who pushed Paul Casey out of the team. We’d all be sitting more comfortably on our shooting sticks if he’d won the USPGA to qualify, and not the Czech Open. But beware the unheralded European. Remember David Gilford? No? He was amazing.
Padraig Harrington: Inclusion seems to have caused the most consternation of all the wild cards. Which is odd given that he only missed automatic qualification by a grand. And has won more majors than the rest of the team put together.
Martin Kaymer: His triumph at the recent USPGA Championship was so clinically and stereotypically German in its execution that he may as well as have stroked in the final putt with a bratwurst.
Miguel Angel Jimenez: One of the more exuberant members of team, he might be forgiven for feeling a little jaded given the amount of golf he played to qualify for the side as well as juggling a stint on the current series of the X Factor. If you haven’t seen Jimenez strut his eccentric moustachioed stuff, here he is:
Graeme McDowell: Gnomic presence whose eyebrows may never revert back to their original position after his surprise win at Pebble Beach. Like most golfers, looks wierd without a cap.
Rory McIlroy: Pull a tiger’s tail hard enough and it will inevitably turn round and chomp your head clean off. Don’t be surprised to see Woods picking little bits of Ulster perm from his teeth at some point this weekend.
Edoardo and Francesco Molinari: The Molinaris are the latest in a rich tradition of celebrated Italian brothers: mortal enemies of Steve Redgrave, the Abbagnales, electro-plumbers Mario and Luigi, miniature mobsters the Ant Hill Mob, and not forgetting the footballing Nevilli brothers, Garibaldi and Pippo.
Ian Poulter: Incorrigible twitterer who despite the headmasterly demands of his captain, will probably be providing tweets from tee to green to team room to the clubhouse toilet. Dresses like a twunt.
Lee Westwood: The Europeans will be praying that Westwood’s calf is sufficiently recovered in order to take the unique strain of walking around after a small ball for three days. Given his newly unsubstantial frame, there are high hopes that the Westwood pins are up to the job.
The Open Championship has developed a recent habit of throwing forward unheralded winners. Normally it is a faceless American who arrives late from the pack and steals off with the Claret Jug when no-one is looking.
But Louis Oosthuizen has led since Friday. And he has a four-shot lead. And his nearest challenger is English and therefore genetically programmed to fade away in the final round. I assumed that he’d blow it yesterday and we’d forget he was even playing until he slunk apologetically up the 18th fairway. Let’s see if he can carry on the good work today:
1st: Louis turns up in bright white trousers. This is a good start. Those are champion’s trousers alright. Paul Casey’s trousers appear to be the vaguest shade of off-white. He misses a little one for a birdie. Time to get a new washing machine. Lead 4 shots.
2nd: Casey drops one. Louis pars. His unshaven look is making him look a bit like Jimmy Anderson, which maybe explains why his birdie putt swings late away from the hole. Lead 5 shots.
3rd: No-one is scoring any birdies. Including Louis. He doesn’t need to. Still waiting for the collapse. Might go for a snooze. Lead 5 shots.
4th: This is becoming a procession. Hit it in the bunker, Louis. Hit it in a gorse bush. Hit it in the sea. Hit a small child. Make it interesting. Please. Lead 5 shots.
5th: Just once it would be funny if Louis Oosthuizen looked fretfully after his ball having teed off as opposed to fetching up his tee peg confidently. The man is a machine. A gap-toothed driving machine. But wait. He’s hit his second into something that looks like heather. Oh no, it’s just normal rough. If it was heather it might have been interesting. That’s the level of desperation we’re working at here. Lead 5 shots.
6th: Louis pars again. He’s a solid as a Robert Rock. At least Casey picks up his first birdie. Lead 4 shots.
7th: Ken Brown clutches at straws as Louis wallops another down the middle of the fairway. Bit close to the green? That’s right, Kenny. A bit close. Louis finds the centre of putting surface and another facile par. Lead 4 shots.
8th: At last, Oosthuizen smothers one off the tee at the short hole, and finally leaves himself a missable one for par. Which he duly misses! I just spat out my beans on toast. Lead 3 shots.
9th: Oosthuizen drains an eagle putt at the short-par four. Poirot is looking good over on ITV. Watching Poirot with bean juice down my shirt…..Lead 4 shots.
10th: Louis has picked up an annoying trait of letting go of his club as if he’s snap-hooked it into Dundee, when it’s actually sailing down the fairway. Just to tease us. It’s another par. Lead 4 shots.
11th: Oosthuizen looking shaky on the par-3 again. Pity it’s the last one. This is nothing personal against Louis. I’m just a bit underwhelmed. He still strokes in the par putt. Lead 4 shots.
12th: Casey hooks one into the gorse. The game is up. And Ken Brown knows it. Apparently Rory McIlroy is having a charge having hit two birdies. He’s nine shots back. Casey racks up a 7, triple-booger. Oosthuizen birdies. You have say to fair play, but I feel a bit empty inside. Lead 8 shots.
13th: Hazel Irvine forlornly attempting to ramp up the interest by proposing some records for Louis to break. Another parzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Lead 8 shots.
14th: Mark James claims hole-in-one as Oosthuizen knocks his drive into a sprinkler head in the middle of the fairway. It’s the most interesting thing thats happened in a while. The race for second is tightening up. It’s all about the runners-up spot. No-one cares who wins. Lead 8 shots.
15th: Dustin Johnson hits it into some souvenir shops at the side of the 18th. You don’t see that very often. Well done Dustin. There are boogers everywhere: Kaymer, Westwood and Casey. Lead 9 shots.
16th: Peter Oosterhuis pars. Lead 8 shots.
17th: Ooh the Road Hole. You can rack up a score here. Would have to be quite a big score. My mum hit a 27 at a single hole once, including 13 in the same bunker. Louis only manages a disappointing bogey. Poor effort. Lead 7 shots.
18th: Sam Torrance still commentating as if the result is in doubt. Get with the programme, Sam. Louis Oosthuizen has won. Nice work.
If the professional golfing fraternity were brothers and the watching public were their doting parents, then Tiger Woods would be our one errant child with the remainder striving for our attention with their good behaviour. And failing.
“That’s a lovely drawing Ernie but can’t you see I’m busy with your brother Tiger at the minute? Go and play with little Rory and make sure he doesn’t eat any more crayons?”
And as our offspring perform at the junior recital that is the World Matchplay tournament in Arizona, we’re all holed up in the headmaster’s office listening to our naughty son’s abject apologies.
There was nothing remarkable about Tiger’s press conference, maintaining the kind of po-face that has served him well on the rare occasions that a three-footer slipped by the hole. The most surprising element was the pronunciation of his wife’s name. It was as if he had set himself one of those sporting challenges to name as many tube stations as he could during his speech and had got stuck on Ealing.
I think we all would now like for Tiger to get back to doing what he does best. Not having sex with cocktail waitresses, although he is obviously pretty good at that.
Go and play nice with your brothers.
News broke today that a hot Swedish blonde was seen leaving Tiger Wood’s home in the early hours of the morning. It turned out to be his mother-in-law. The ambiguous headline was either the product of some wonky journalism or a plot twist in this golfing saga worthy of an Eastenders Christmas special.
The British contingent of golfers must eye the deluge of press afforded to the escapades of their American colleague with disbelief. It seems vaguely improbable that any of this country’s professionals would create such a splash across the nation’s papers for any reason, least of all their exploits on the fairways.
A quarter of the world’s Top 20 are British. It’s a fact which should be celebrated when you consider the immense globality of the sport but it struggles to raise even polite applause. If a tennis player reaches the world’s Top 100 then it’s cause for a ticker-tape extravaganza in Trafalgar Square.
Paul Lawrie was our last major winner in 1999, since when he slunk off to the obscurity of the lower reaches of the European Order of Merit. He could have sex with a goat and no-one would bat an eyelid. Except maybe the goat.
Nick Faldo is the only golfer from these shores who has crossed over into the wider public scope: through a combination of a hefty major haul and some off-links hi-jinks with the ladies, including a prototype car-battering incident with a jilted wife. It seems that when Faldo handed over the green jacket when Tiger won his first major at Augusta, he may have left his little black book in the inside pocket.
So Faldo has created the blueprint for the modern British golfer: win some majors, indulge in some high-level love-rattery. Rory, it’s over to you.
Having been subjected to attack from what one might suggest was friendly fire, it has been a torrid old week for some of our more venerable sporting institutions. First Chris Gayle smacks test cricket for six over its head by confessing that he wouldn’t be so sad if it died out. And then Rory McIlroy delivered a fearful whack to the Ryder Cup, arguing that it’s just an exhibition and ‘not that important to me’. I shouldn’t be surprised to read in my paper tomorrow that Sir Steve Redgrave has claimed that Olympic gold medals are ‘not all that’ or Sir Alex has revealed his true feelings by taking a crap in the European Cup.
McIlroy’s outburst can probably be attributed to adolescent recalcitrance. He is only twelve after all. His captain and playing partner today Colin Montgomerie probably took this into consideration when he politely asked the press not to make a war between him and the younger man (although in truth it’s something we’d probably all like to see: the young scrapper against the sheer bulk of the Scot).
Gayle claims he was misrepresented. You can judge for yourself by listening to the audioclip here. The strange thing about this interview is that it sounds as if Gayle and the female journalist are on a date. Gayle comes across slightly coy and flirty and definitely a bit pissed. It would certainly explain why his defensive technique deserted him on this occasion.
Test cricket had an immediate opportunity to stand up for itself and say ‘now listen here my good man’ at Chester-le-Street today on the first day of the Second Test. Unfortunately, on a play-doh pitch in front of a soupcon of spectators, it was more: ‘actually Chris maybe you’ve got a point.’
In fact, perversely, the most interesting section of play was when Gayle brought himself onto bowl early against Andrew Strauss, the self-appointed champion of the test game. It was like he was countering his own argument.
The debate continues tomorrow.
So Colin Montgomerie is seeking the counsel of Sir Alex Ferguson in preparation for his leadership of the 2010 Ryder Cup team. The prospect of Monty assuming Fergusonian management techniques in South Wales is a fascinating one. One wonders how much of Sir Alex’s advice the portly Scot will take to heart, but there are several intriguing scenarios:
1. The referees
John Paramore, you have been warned: there are no technical areas on the fairways. There is no fourth official to divert the wrath of Colin against the chief referee of the European tour and his hardy crew of officials. If Ferguson’s vituperative attitude towards the ref is replicated by Montgomerie on the golf course then we could find ourselves in an unpleasant situation. A red-faced Monty, jabbing an accusing finger into a disbelieving referee, while being forcibly restrained by a couple of stewards. All for a minor disagreement over the invocation of rule 18-6 (ball at rest moved in measuring).
And think of the final fourballs on the Saturday afternoon. Donald rolls in a four-footer at the last to halve his match with Casey against Mickelson and Kim. Handshakes all round and off to the bar. But no. In front of a baying crowd, Monty is pointing at his watch, eyeing down the referee. And we’re back off to the first tee to see if we can get Europe that point.
2. The Americans
Sir Alex is notorious for winding up his opponents with his wily mind games. Wenger, Mourinho, most recently Benitez and most hilariously little Kevin Keegan.
Monty’s opposite number Corey Pavin is a character who will not shrink away from a scrap. This a man who donned a Desert Storm army cap during ‘The War on the Shore’ Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island in 1991. What a prick.
So let’s hope that Montgomerie can get under Pavin’s skin, maybe by questioning the professionalism of some of his American team: “When you do things like that about a man like Jim Furyk, I tell you what, I would LOVE it if we beat them in September”.
In truth Monty has form in this particular regard: maybe he could teach Ferguson a thing or two. He suggested that Brad Faxon may not be at the peak of his mental game in the run up to the 1997 Ryder Cup because he was in the middle of sticky divorce proceedings. It didn’t go down too well over the pond.
3. The Europeans
So Justin Rose takes Rory McIroy out for a night in downtown Newport the week before festivities: booze, drugs, strippers, a half-arsed orgy back at the hotel suite. Cue Monty. He is furious. The curly whippersnapper is hauled out by his ear and Rose is dropped from the team, banished to an South American satellite tour. Only to resurface on Celebrity Love Island reluctantly cavorting with Abi Titmuss.
And woe betide anyone who should three-stab on the 17th green to hand the Americans a vital point. Because Monty will be aiming a size 11 Footjoy straight for your forehead. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for the telltale studmarks on Robert Karlsson’s large Swedish noggin.
4. The press
And more particularly the BBC. Ferguson’s relationship with the Beeb disintegrated into nothing following a documentary shown on the channel about his son Jason. So what can we expect if Sir Alex’s mistrust has polluted the Monty view?
A vice-captain, lets say Paul Broadhurst, is pushed forward to take all press conferencs? A broadside is aimed at Peter Alliss, the commentator dismissed as “arrogant beyond belief”? Or even a shove in Hazel Irvine’s face as she proffers a hopeful microphone?
We can but dream…