Our man at Royal Porthcawl takes you behind the scenes of the Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open....
Golf by numbers.......
Golf, by its very nature, is a game of numbers. But sometimes the sheer coincidence of numbers can be incredible. Take Gordon Brand Jnr for example.
Twenty eight years ago the Scot claimed his first title on The European Tour here at Royal Porthcawl when he held off a stellar field including Greg Norman to win the Coral Welsh Classic.
A look through the record books shows his scores that week were 66, 68, 69 and 70. Obviously, the number missed out of that sequence was 67......which was exactly the score the 51 year old posted in the first round of The Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open at Porthcawl on Friday!
Of course, to keep the sequence going, the winner of the Matrix Jersey Classic on the Senior Tour two weeks ago needs to either score 65 or 71 in the second round. Needless to say, it is obvious which one ‘Brandie’ would like.......
It’s a Small World....
There has been much interest this week in Welsh golfers in action on both sides of the Atlantic: indeed it has been a bit of a theme along the lines of a changing of the guard for the Principality with the legendary Ian Woosnam back competing at Royal Porthcawl, the home course of new star Rhys Davies who is, of course, currently out in America, the country where Woosie claimed his greatest triumph in the 1991 Masters Tournament.
However, ironically, the link is even stronger given the fact that the man on Woosie’s bag this week – Lee Adelley – also caddied for young Davies when he started out.
It’s a small world, as they say.......
Hall of Famer.......
Not surprisingly, being in the heart of his home country, this is a busy week for Ian Woosnam not simply in and around the golf course at Royal Porthcawl.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the week for the former Ryder Cup Captain will come on Friday night when he is enrolled into the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame in Cardiff.
Woosnam will take his bow at a star-studded presentation dinner in the Mercure Holland House Hotel in the Welsh capital alongside two other greats from the world of Welsh golf – four time Ryder Cupper Dave Thomas and former Welsh ladies champion Vicki Thomas.
Many congratulations Ian, it is a much deserved honour......
Life’s a Beach.....and it’s not Pebble.....
It is one of the most anticipated golfing weeks of the year thanks to the world renowned venue; a spectacular links course bathed in glorious sunshine with the crashing waves of the ocean across the sandy beach as a backdrop.
No, I’m not talking about Pebble Beach and the US Open Championship, I’m talking about the utterly glorious Royal Porthcawl and The Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open.
The spectacular Welsh links features highly on most golfers’ ‘must play’ courses and on weeks like these it is easy to see why. It is a truly beautiful setting and, with the weather set to stay fair for the week, the main difficulty the competitors in the tenth staging of The Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open might find is keeping their concentration on the game with all the natural beauty surrounding them.
Kneesy does it Michael........
To be honest, it’s not where you normally expect to find a Tournament Director on the eve of an event but your correspondent’s first sight of Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open TD Michael Petch this morning was on his knees in his office at Royal Porthcawl.
There are many wisecracks which could be offered up here, and indeed many which will probably now be started by the wicked wit of referee and former Tour pro Derrick Cooper, but the explanation offered up by Mr Petch was that he was praying for good weather!
Now, dear reader, I’ll leave you to make your own mind up whether you believe that or not but, to be fair to Michael, if it was the truth, it’s certainly working.
Sloe, sloe, quick, quick, sloe.......
Aside from the glorious scenery and magnificent golf course, another wondrous element on offer at Royal Porthcawl is, of course, history.
Golf was played here before the turn of the 20th century, never mind the 21st , and one of the most interesting glances back through the sepia-tinted mists of time is provided by the charming ‘Suggestions Book’ in the clubhouse which features propositions from the 1920s right up to the present day.
Most of the modern ones centre on facilities on the course and conditions of the greens but a glimpse of the past is provided by one of the early entries from 1922 which asks the club whether the price of sloe gin could be moderated.
Thankfully, for the afternoon tipplers of that golden era, the club reply was that they would look into the matter.
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