First published on the Golf Monthly website on Wednesday 15th June 2011
I’m feeling pretty excited by the prospect of the US Open kicking off tomorrow. The Majors and, the other significant world tournaments, are just so wide open at the moment and it’s fantastic that it’s predominantly European players receiving the backing. Most British bookies have Lee Westwood as the favourite with Luke Donald either joint favourite or just behind.
Surely Donald should be the favourite. He’s World Number 1, he’s been on awesome form in recent months and Congressional should suit his game. The green surrounds have been prepared with a view to placing a great emphasis on chipping and Donald is the best in the world at getting it up-and-down from just off the putting surface. Though I guess Westy’s Major record is superior. Let’s just hope one of them (or Rory, GMac, Poults etc…) gets the job done.
I was talking with Jessie (wife) over breakfast about European prospects at the US Open and how the European Tour could continue its recent domination of the Major championships. At first she feigned interest, but as I began listing Blue Square’s odds that I’d pulled up on my phone, I sensed I was losing her.
“Can’t you see how exciting it’s going to be?” I asked.
“Not really,” she replied. “There are tournaments every week.”
“Yes, but this one is really important,” I protested.
“You always say they’re important. What’s the difference?” She asked. “As far as I can see, it’s just the same guys playing against each other in another part of the world.”
I was stumped. But after a bit of thinking I’ve decided not to be upset. It’s the same at the highest level of any sport – the same individuals, or teams will always be competing for the highest honours because they’re the best.
Yes, I do think most golf tournament’s on the TV are important (I’m not that fussed about coverage of the EuroPro Tour from Wychwood Park,) but any event that will have an impact on the Race to Dubai, the FedEx Cup or the World Ranking is an important piece of the jigsaw that is the worldwide professional golf season.
It’s the same in my golf season. I’m always under threat of missing tournaments because of various commitments with family and friends and have to argue my case.
“We’ve been invited to a wedding on the 23rd of August,” Jessie will say.
“No way, that’s the day of the ‘Dugald MacDugald Chalice.’ It’s one of the most important events of the year!”
“Are there any that aren’t important?”