Monday, March 27, 2006

Skinny putts and all

As I’m busy doing an internship at Compleat Golfer Magazine to earn some pocket money before I leave, I’ve also nurtured a new and quite intense interest in golf. I never knew so many people shared this passion; just searching the term “golf” on I came up with over 2 million hits. Anyways, anyone who watched the PLAYERS Championship, considered by many to be the “fifth Major”, would have noticed a few things.

Here’s my review: Stephen Ames, the third round leader and eventual winner by six strokes over Retief Goosen, played fantastically to hold his nerve on one of the hardest courses in blustery conditions I’ve seen in a while (think US Open: Whistling Straits). I think what got his head through at times when failure and success was balancing on a knife edge was the fact that his brother Robert was caddying for him. They kept a casual banter going that seemed to relax Ames – his only blemish was a double bogey at the 12th on an otherwise faultless round at the TPC Sawgrass.

Goosen played well, despite a see-saw round and erratic iron play, but his putting showed glimpses of the miracles he performed at Whistling Straits. These greens seemed like they were reading about 13 on the stimpmeter! It reminded me of the ESPN ad, where Jim “Octopus-swing” Furyk says, “It’s like putting down the windscreen of a car and making it stop on the bonnet.” Sort of something like this.

Fashionable Columbian rookie Camilo Villegas (“Vi-jay-gas” according to the American commentators) had a great round – one of only four sub-par rounds the day – and was unlucky to miss out on a place in the Masters by ending tied-third and 11th on the Money List (only the top 10 get exemption for the Masters through the Money List). But you never know, it’s been known to happen that the misogynist ou toppies at the Augusta issue special invites to foreign players (Shigeki Maruyama and Greg Norman having previously been honoured such), but this usually happens in December and not a week before the prestigious tournament is set to tee off. Nevertheless, Camilo is one to watch out for in the future and please let me know if you beg to differ.

Let’s keep it on a positive note; therefore I’m not going to discuss the Super 14 or SA cricket.

No comments: