First published on the Golf Monthly website on Friday 26th February 2010
Fergus is left irritated by a newspaper article and feels compelled to retaliate.
I read an extremely bitter article by Tanya Gold in The Guardian a few days ago in which she described sport as, “at best moronic.” She made it pretty clear the reason for her intense disapproval of sport is her inability to do it.
So, as a result of her incompetence, she dismissed something that brings happiness to billions around the world as worthless – Quite incredible. I hope she was just trying to see how many comments she could generate on the Guardian website. In fact, I think that might be what she’s employed to do.
Sport encapsulates the human effort as we strive to push the boundaries of what our race is capable of. Sportspeople compete to be the fastest, strongest, most skilful, the most dedicated and focussed. Communities and countries unite behind teams or individuals and fans enjoy a brief respite from their everyday troubles to watch their favourite sportspeople compete.
Participants at all levels gain pleasure from competing or just from taking part, they make friends, get fit while learning to push themselves to things they hadn’t thought they were capable of.
Does Tanya feel no emotion when she sees an athlete giving their heart and soul to achieve something they’ve worked towards their whole life? Perhaps she disapproves of human endeavour in general? The compulsion within humans to compete in sport is the same one that drove us to develop farming and discover penicillin.
Anyway, most of us think sport is important for a multitude of reasons and I assume anybody reading this would be in that camp.
I’m currently being starved of personal sporting activity because of yet more snow, but thankfully I (like billions more on earth) can still enjoy sport vicariously through my telly.
The Winter Olympics has been great viewing and, as always, the Six Nations has had me on the edge of my seat. Actually, for the last part of the Scotland/Wales match I was round the back of my seat, lying on the ground in the foetal position whimpering.
I also found the Accenture Match Play excellent to watch. One-on-one battles between the world’s best golfers provide a great alternative to the standard four-round stroke play contests. The fact two British players fought through to, and faced each other in, the final made it even more compelling. Tanya, you wouldn’t understand, but sport is that bit more exciting to watch when you are supporting one or more of the protagonists.
Since I started writing about golf, I’ve written articles at various points asking the question, “When will we see the next British Major winner?” At times I’ve written more in hope than expectation, at others I’ve simply felt obliged to consider the possibility. But this year it actually could happen. In fact, I think we could even win more than one of golf’s big four tournaments in 2010.
There are currently four British players in the top-10 of the World Ranking – Westwood, Casey, Poulter and McIlroy – all are on an upward curve. I think McIlroy could be a significant factor at Augusta – he says himself the course suits his game. I also feel he could feature at The Open. He’s performed well at St Andrews in the past with strong finishes in the Dunhill Links. Westwood is always touted as a potential winner of the US Open but, frankly, he could win any of the big four if he has a good week. Poulter now has the belief to beat the best in the world and Casey just needs to find that killer edge to get over the finishing line in first place.
British golfing prospects for 2010 look great as we build towards the Ryder Cup in October – I’ll be in a state of moronic excitement for that one.