Our press officer in France brings you all of the action from behind the scenes at the Cannes Mougins Masters.
Pate’s words of wisdom
Two months ago Jerry Pate returned to Walton Heath for The Senior Open Championship 30 years after playing in The Ryder Cup at the same venue. This week he is back on European soil as he makes a rare appearance on the Senior Tour. The visit arose after playing alongside old friend Marc Farry at Walton Heath, when Farry suggested that he should come to France. After playing on the US Champions Tour in Korea last week, the 1976 US Open champion made the journey to the south of France and is staying with Farry this week.
Having won the US Open in his rookie season and been part of that 1981 United States team, widely regarded as the strongest in the competition’s history, Pate certainly has seen it all in the game of golf and he was quick to share some of his wisdom with the young local 16 year old who has landed the job of caddying for him this week.
Upon meeting each other for the first time, the 58 year old told the youngster: “When I was your age I caddied for Doug Ford, winner of the US PGA Championship and Masters, when he played in a tournament near where I grew up. Now you are caddying for a US Open Champion, so maybe you will go on to win a Major yourself one day.” Inspiring stuff.
Ref knows best!
In some other sports such as football, the referee is often derided for not knowing the game, having not played it professionally. There can be no such accusation this week at one of our rules officials Derrick Cooper. The former Tour pro is only the course recorder holder here at Cannes Mougins after firing a 64 in the 1989 Cannes Open.
If you read this column last week from the Czech Republic you’ll know that Ian Woosnam was forced to wait nearly an hour at Prague airport while yours truly sorted out a lost luggage problem. Well, it seems Woosie’s travel travails have not improved. My luck seems to have rubbed off on the former World Number One, who spent nearly a day making the relatively straight forward journey from his home in Jersey to Cannes. First, his flight to London was taken off the runway because of a fault with the aircraft. Then after eventually leaving Jersey, he managed to miss the connection from London. Still, there could be worse places to be stuck than the sun-kissed south of France! Let’s hope his luck changes out on the course.