Ryder Cup-itis

5 10 2010

I never played tennis when I was a kid growing up in England – except for a few days during and immediately after Wimbledon fortnight. So it must have been the recent golfing event that took place across the pond that influenced the Chief and me into changing our usual Tuesday morning stroke play game today into a do or die Ryder Cup style match play competition. There were, admittedly, one or two minor differences between the two events. For one thing we were playing in the warm embrace of a perfect autumn morning at Glacier Greens rather than having to endure the torrential monsoons they had to put up with at Celtic Manor; for another, the strongly pro European crowd of 35,000 or so was replaced by our fellow playing companions, Rod and Tony, who were playing their own, very gentlemanly match. On the other hand, rather than comments from the crowd being lost in the general hubbub, we could hear our companions’ comments all too clearly. After the second hole was completed I announced the score for the benefit of the imaginary audience: “Hole halved in seven. Europe remains one up”. I bet you didn’t hear that scoreline too much in Wales. A little later on, after I’d made what I thought was a frank but fair assessment of one of Adrian’s less successful approach shots, he responded with an even more cutting comment: “There may be no ‘I’ in ‘Team’ but there’s three U’s in ‘Shut the F*ck Up”. I’m so glad that relations between the two sides in Newport were more cordial. I was lucky enough to chip in for birdie on # 13 to go two up in the match and I did consider an Ian Poulter type fist pump or even a Jeff Overton “Boom baby. Oh yeah!”, but to be honest it would sound pretty daft in a Dorset accent. (Actually, to be completely honest, it sounded pretty daft in an American accent too). I just tried to put on my best ‘standard chip there, nothing that amazing’ serious face which of course fooled nobody. When the match was over (a 2 and 1 victory for Europe, by the way) and we had reached the patio I was able to savour my win. No doubt the Euros loved drinking that champagne on the balcony and spraying it on the crowd below as they sang “olé,olé, olé,olé” ad nauseam but I have to say that my coffee, bought and paid for by the Chief, tasted pretty darn sweet too…

One last comment on the Ryder Cup: I didn’t really know much about Hunter Mahan before this weekend. Hunter Mahan, DJ Trahan, just one of those cookie cutter highly-successful-but-not-a-megastar PGA pros, right? Now I do, and I am so rooting for him to come up big in a tournament soon. And kudos to Phil Mickelson and Stewart Cink for diving in to protect him from the savaging the media guys were trying to unleash on him at the post match press conference. I’m a Europe all the way chap when it comes to the Ryder Cup, but the American guys went way up in my estimation for the way they jumped in to defend their shell shocked team mate. Maybe I’ll even switch allegiances by the time the 2012 Cup comes around at Medinah, Illinois?  No,  probably not – but I’ll definitely be hoping that Hunter Mahan gets to play – and holes a chip just like my one on # 13 today. What is it Mark Middleton once said to me after I’d played a particularly lucky shot at Sunnydale? “Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every once in a while…”

All da best,

Dave B.




3 responses

6 10 2010

Lovely post Dave. Particularly enjoyed your compassionate words at the end. I too think Hunter Mahan is a class act and one of the great golfers on the tour. He is so consistent.
I also appreciated reading Grahame Mc. Dowell’s words about Hunter Mahan. He too is one of the best.
We plan to play the same course Friday. Now that we know the course, we will take no mercy on it , with birdies galore to be had everywhere…..not!
Keep up the good work with your writings. They are a joy to read.
Cheers to you and Julie from NS.
P.S. We are trying to stay ahead of Peter Dobbs as he chases us round the Maritimes. Maybe he’ll catch us while we are stationary down here and I’ll be forced to buy him a beer.

6 10 2010
Bagger Dave

Thanks Martin. I’m loving your accounts of being back East. A strange coincidence – my friend Adrian was talking about the Scarecrow festival just yesterday – then I come home to find your pictures of it! Good luck in avoiding Dobbs, but if he senses a beer is on offer, he’ll track you down for sure!

Take care,


6 10 2010

Ok Dave. I’m glad you aren’t bored to tears yet!
all the best,

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