RORY McILROY SAYS the U.S. Team would have lost a big advantage in this year’s Ryder Cup with no partisan spectators yelling for them. We’ll never know. The roars were certainly heard at the 1995 Ryder Cup at Oak Hill, New York, where the US team which included Ben Crenshaw, Corey Pavin and a young Phil Mickelson were hoping for a hat trick.
The European team, some injured, some inexperienced, hardly looked intimidating. Captained for the 3rd time by Bernard Gallagher, it included Seve Ballesteros (off form) Nick Faldo (injured wrist) and Philip Walton (rookie.)
The U.S. entered the final round singles with a 9-7 lead. In the final two matches, with the score 12 ½ – 12 ½, Faldo was one down to Curtis Strange on the 17th and Philip Walton’s lead was down to one against Jay Haas. Curtis Strange bogeyed the final two holes and Faldo coolly sunk his putt to win. Seve rushed at Faldo in tears and hugged him. Walton with knees knocking made a two-putt par to beat Haas one up. Europe won, 14½ -13½.
US Captain Lanny Wadkins was so shell-shocked at the closing ceremony he pulled out the wrong speech – the one he’d written to accept victory. Europe had beaten America on their turf over a course set up to suit their game. Roll on 2021.
CALLING ALL GOLFERS, fisherfolk and whisky drinkers to team up on November 6th-8th. Two days golf and fishing and a whisky tasting quiz at Ratho Farm Golf and Leisure resort. Trout will be weighed and score cards marked before the third leg of the triathlon. The format is 2-person teams. Points per trout caught + bonus points for each 100g it weighs. The best stableford score over any 9 holes from either team member’s individual scores per hole (no limit to the number of holes played until close each day).
Dinner on Saturday night plus Whisky Tasting Quiz. The local Nant Single Malt Whisky has been rated amongst the top fifty in the world.
The only drawback to this exciting weekend is – it’s in Tasmania. Ratho Farm, located on the Clyde river near the pretty Georgian town of Bothwell is reputed to be the oldest golf club in Australia.
The estate was bought by the wealthy Reid family who emigrated from Edinburgh in 1822 and developed a successful farm. In those days settlers were issued a parcel of free land and free convict labour based on their capital. The Reid’s first land grant was for 1400 acres and a mile of rainbow trout stream. Their descendants now own the golf club and guest accommodation is in the former convict accommodation buildings (hopefully updated.)
Australian golfers who come to learn about the origins of the game find natural fairways and square greens, which originated in Scotland, and can still be seen on some Scottish courses, including Prestwick and St. Andrews. Their shape was originally set out by the keeper of the green, who placed four pegs in the ground and strung wire round to keep the sheep off.
“Golfers heading down to Tasmania for the Seniors Championship at Launceston should add Ratho Farm to their itinerary.”
Some chance, we’ll be lucky if we can still go to Murcia.
ALTHOUGH THE USPGA TOUR managed to move the CJ Cup from South Korea to Las Vegas and the ZOZO Championship from Japan to California there was no relocation option available for the WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan, meaning Rory will get to hold on to the trophy till 2021. Instead of heading for chilly China on October 26th a field of 132 players will compete on the Port Royal course, Bermuda, for a week of sun and balmy breezes and a purse of $4 million.
As Mr. Trump would probably say: “Walnuts to China.”
Until next time: Happy Golfing, and although there won’t be any street collections this year any loose change you can drop in the poppy boxes will be much appreciated.
Contact Mick for regripping and repairs. 638 859 475.