First published on the Golf Monthly website on Monday 23rd May 2011
I’m bored of being ill. The niggling cold I wrote about last week has developed into something far more unpleasant. For the last three days I’ve been coughing so hard and often, I think my heart has been dislodged from its usual spot in my chest. And it feels like a team of miniature miners are at work with pneumatic drills in my sinuses. Even my teeth are aching.
It’s uncomfortable but it’s even more inconvenient. I was hoping to play in the Monday roll-up this afternoon but Jessie (wife) has said she will retract all sympathy if I struggle out to do battle. I’ve been desperately trying to get an emergency appointment at the doctor to sort out some antibiotics in the vain hope that, if I pop a couple of pills by say 11.30am, I might have experienced some sort of miraculous recovery by 1pm and be fine to head to the course, thus no longer requiring wifely compassion.
It’s looking unlikely at the moment because the surgery has no free appointments today. I explained the levels of my discomfort and my predicament with regards the golf, but to no avail. I’m waiting for a doctor to call me back. Here’s hoping he plays off single figures.
My poor health definitely had an adverse affect on my performance in the Medal on Saturday. Every second swing triggered a coughing fit and my head was even more full of rubbish than usual.
I was feeling rather sorry for myself and things were not aided by a grotesque piece of misfortune on the par-3 3rd. I pushed my tee shot a tad and it caught the very top branch of the large tree protecting the right side of the green. Generally when this happens, the ball will drop down on the front edge of the putting surface, but not this time. Mine ricocheted straight right towards the greenside bunker.
When I got down to it I couldn’t find it but eventually discovered it totally plugged in the very back of the trap. I could only see about a square centimetre of urethane. My only option was to hack it out back into the bunker proper and play from there. I was so angry that I four-putted in protest and that was that. Another 0.1. Life is so unfair.
Getting the weekly emails from howdidido is becoming pretty depressing – “your new handicap is xxxx.” Yes, I know it’s going up. And so does everybody else. I wonder if I could take out some sort of “super injunction” to prevent howdidido releasing my worse scores into the public domain? I guess there are probably more sensible ways to spend £50,000.
One good thing about my illness is that I was able to sit and watch all of the Volvo World Match Play yesterday without feeling guilty about not mowing the lawn or taking the dog for a walk. It’s great to see the pros in match play events, I think they provide a very welcome alternative as they demand a different set of skills from the four-round stroke play tournaments we see every other week.
Ian Poulter, the eventual champion at Finca Cortesin, would never have run out as the winner if the players had been adding up all their shots through the week. But, he is a fantastic match player with a gritty determination to win – five times his matches went to the final hole and he didn’t lose once. He is seriously tough to beat one-on-one, as is proved by his Ryder Cup record and the fact he is now the only man to have won both the WGC – Accenture Match Play and Volvo World Match Play championships.
I enjoyed watching Poulter display the attributes that make him so competitive in this format and would welcome more match play tournaments on the circuit.
Right, I’ve now got three hours to get better. Poulter wouldn’t let a bit of bronchitis get in his way would he? I’m off to inhale some Karvol, take double the recommended dose of painkillers, eat three Halls Soothers and drink a Lemsip.