Had a miraculous day at The Open as I met up with old friend JP who is Global Business Director for Wilson in Chicago. I literally hadn’t seen him in 27 years and so when he came walking across the players putting green, while casually saying hello to John Daly, I kind of got the idea that JP has firmly established himself in the golfing world. I always knew that he would make a success of whatever he did since I lived with him in Hampstead many moons ago, and witnessed him ironing his socks. Yes ironing his socks. And yes I thought then that any man who irons his socks will go far in life. And he has.
In his usual nonchalent way he managed to get me a pass which enabled me to get into the players area too, and I was soon amongst the good and great in the game. There was a bit of a stir as Rory McIlroy walked out and straight passed me as he headed for some serious autograph signing to a queue which had been building for over two hours. I was quite agassed as he walked straight by me without any acknowledgment and without getting my signature. I guess he had other things on his mind or was dying for a pee or something.
Anyway, I am of the opinion that these guys are taking things a bit too seriously here. One bloke has pegged out fifteen tees at different lengths from the hole and looks very determined and serious and concentrated. I guess he has putting issues.
I always think that most of these guys just need to chill a bit before a huge event like this. I mean there’s a champagne tent out here and I made damn sure that was my first stop when I arrived. I asked the girl for a glass of the stuff and she said they didn’t really do glasses. My heart fell and then I furthered my cause by asking what do you mean ‘not really’, and she basically said that they did a tiny wee bottle which contained a bit more than a glass, and I intimated that I could handle that. She then said that it would be nineteen quid and I tried to not look too bowled over.
Anyway, as I was saying, why don’t some of the players pop down to the champers tent and shoot the breeze with some of the crowd. I am sure I would. Would be refreshing and probably put them in a damn site better frame of mind than slogging it out on the range and pegging it out on the putting green, or sitting in an autograph queue. I mean just get your nineteen quid out guys and relax. Even if it’s only Lansen. Does the trick.
I headed for the Golf Punk Caddy Shack in down town Troon and caught CEO Tim and Ben at a very bad time. They had just been on the phone to the police who had told them they couldn’t put their blimpse up and they were none too pleased. They were not for consoling and Tim looked like he needed to head for the champers tent and get his nineteen quid out promptly.
Anyway, I had a nice wee catch up with the Golf Punk boys but unfortunately didn’t get to meet the golf nurse, who sounded interesting. Great stuff from Golf Punk again. What a class outfit they are.
JP was telling me that Wilson had put him and his wife up in The lovely Marine Hotel on the golf course when he had just got married and they were at breakfast with Seve and Sergio next to them. JP said ‘do you know who they are?’ and his delightful non golfing Japanese wife just said ‘No’.
And as I well know, the Japanese tell it straight.