In The Bunker With Mick The Grip
CAN YOU SPOT the golf course in the above photo? No? That’s because there isn’t one. Construction of the 2016 Olympic golf venue in Rio de Janeiro, originally due to be completed this year, is being endlessly delayed by legal wrangles and cultural problems, and with no end in sight to the construction workers’ strike, which began on April 3rd and is affecting the whole Olympics site.
With golf returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1904, there were plans to stage a test tournament in 2015. But IGF head, Peter Dawson was pessimistic.
“The design of the course looks really good, but progress with the construction is not where we want it to be,” he reported, “The only green shoots on the course so far are weeds!”
JIMMY WALKER (Pebble Beach) Russell Henley (Honda Classic) Patrick Reed (WGC Cadillac.) Not exactly household names but all three winning a Tour championship this spring, with young Jordan Spieth panting to win his first. Together with his heavy artillery of seasoned champions Tom Watson could be spoiled for choice for the Ryder Cup. Pity Europe can’t put some Australians in to bat (They would have been eligible in AD1700 after all) Aussie golfers have been doing rather well lately. How about Steven Bowditch or Matt Jones, who won the Valero Texas Open and the Houston Open respectively, and Jason Day the WGC Matchplay in February. Then there’s Brett Rumford, defending his title this weekend in the Volvo China Open, and of course Adam Scott. We can’t? Never mind, at least Lee Westwood won the Malaysian Open convincingly. Things are looking up.
LAST WEEK Miguel Angel Jimenez made his triumphant debut on the Champions Tour at TPC Sugarloaf; shooting 67 with 32 consecutive holes without a bogey. He finished two shots ahead of Bernhard Langer, becoming only the third player to lead from start to finish. Jimenez says he can’t commit to the Tour because his goal is making the Ryder Cup team. He’s going the right way to do it, you never get anywhere by ‘Resting.’ McIlroy please note.
Langer, aged 56, shot 69 in the Masters with birdies on four of the last six holes, and tied for 8th place. Jimenez finished 4th. Fred Couples (54) almost looked as if he could win a second Masters 22 years after his first, coming within two strokes of the lead before fading. Larry Mize, Vijay Singh and Sandy Lyle also made the cut at 50 or older. They can’t keep the good ones down.
THE BMW PGA Championship takes place at Wentworth from 22nd to 25th May. Europe’s flagship tournament usually attracts the strongest line-up of top players outside the Open Championship. In 2013 11 of the 12 members from Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup team competed. The lineup for this year has yet to be announced.
MASTERS QUOTE: “OK, he’s lost his marbles. To even CONSIDER that shot in the position he’s in … I give up.” David Feherty of CBS, watching as Bubba Watson went for the green, between the trees and over the water on the par five 15th with a three shot lead. He cleared the green. Perhaps it was an unnecessary risk with a three shot lead, but Bubba’s unorthodox style is enough to make golf instructors blow their brains out.
A USEFUL TIP I was given for chipping: ‘Watch the clubhead onto the bottom of the ball, see the grass fly, then listen for the ball landing. This will ensure that you really keep your head still throughout the shot.’ That’s sorted my chipping out. My putting is like a song. Unfortunately the song is Bye Bye Birdie.