A CUP OF NO HALF MEASURES

Golf Australia - - GOLF IS GOOD - EX­CLU­SIVE BY ANDREW DADDO | GOLF AUSTRALIA COLUMNIST

DO YOU see the big golf events roll around ev­ery year and say to your mates, “We should bloody do that!”

And your best mate says, “We bloody should.” But you don’t, be­cause real life has a way of get­ting ahead of your un­real life, right?

Some­times, things fall the right way. You could win a trip. Your mum or dad might cough up a “We’ll never get an­other chance” kind of hol­i­day. Or, if you’re re­ally lucky, you’ll end up on a golf show for Fox Sports, cre­atively ti­tled, The Golf Show.

And some­one will say, “You’re go­ing to the Pres­i­dents Cup.” When I fin­ished wet­ting my pants I re­alised there was a job to do.

So, for you lot who are in­clined to wait for some­thing like that to hap­pen, let me try and put the ex­pe­ri­ence in per­spec­tive for you.

It’s like the Aus­tralian Open, but not re­ally. Put it this way. If you’ve turned up to a big game at the MCG a lit­tle late and some­one kicks a goal, there’s a roar from the crowd. It’s some­where be­tween a bomb go­ing off and a train belt­ing through a tun­nel. That’s the sound that pops up from the golf course when an Amer­i­can wins a hole or sinks a big putt.

The first three days of this years’ Pres­i­dents Cup were un­fath­omably loud. It could be the New York crowd that are leg­endary for their abil­ity to roar, but it seemed like more than that. It wasn’t just the bone­heads hol­ler­ing, “Get in ‘da hole,” ei­ther. Be­cause the Pres­i­dents Cup is Amor­ica against a mighty chunk of the golf­ing world, it’s pa­tri­otic, not per­sonal.

Chants of “USA USA,” swept through gal­leries like a Mex­i­can wave. They sang, “I do be­lieve that we will win!” even when it was over.

Thank God for The Fa­nat­ics, who man­aged to bal­ance the ledger with some noise and pretty funny come­backs.

More than any­thing, it’s the size of the event that’s as­tound­ing. As we know, the Amer­i­cans love it large, and do it ex­cep­tion­ally well. The mer­chan­dise ‘tent’ must have been close to a full soc­cer pitch. Imag­ine any po­ten­tial Pres­i­dents Cup golf­ing ap­parel, and you could buy it – and then some.

As for the golf. De­spite the poor show­ing from The In­ter­na­tion­als, it was ac­tu­ally bril­liant. They hit it so far! Of course, we all know they hit it a mile, but up close, when you get to see some of the best pros in the world smack a pill, it re­ally is some­thing else.

Ul­ti­mately the fans made it. They were there for a party as much as the golf. They drank like they cheered and it felt like ev­ery other per­son was suck­ing on a sto­gie the size of a ba­bies fore­arm. The brash bark of the New York­ers was fan­tas­tic when jux­ta­posed with ac­cents from across the In­ter­na­tion­als. I’m sure half the crowd were au­di­tion­ing for The So­pra­nos.

Even bet­ter to have New York City for the back­drop. The Statue of Lib­erty watch­ing on, a con­stant pa­tri­otic re­minder that this was the orig­i­nal gate­way to the land of hope and glory. The crowd sang their own na­tional an­them on the days an of­fi­cial ver­sion wasn’t sup­plied.

Four pres­i­dents turned up.

The crowd re­ally does go, “koooooooooooch” when­ever “Kooooooooch” walks onto a tee or green.

In Amer­ica, Freddy Cou­ples ac­tu­ally is more pop­u­lar than God.

Tiger made his first ap­pear­ance in for­ever! He talked to Obama (OBAMA!) for ages, and it was right in front of me. That shit doesn’t hap­pen at home. Maybe the best, and most sur­real bit was this. I was do­ing it large, in­side the ropes with my me­dia pass try­ing des­per­ately hard not to look like a to­tal wanker, when the crowd started go­ing nuts. Prop­erly head­less, like I was Peter Daicos and they were all Colling­wood fans and I was run­ning into goal with four sec­onds to spare and the Pies were a point be­hind.

I’ve looked at them and it’s like they’re look­ing at me. Only, they were look­ing just be­hind me, be­cause there was Tiger. Right there. It was later in the af­ter­noon, so there was a fair sense of lu­bri­cated ex­cite­ment. But they were scream­ing for him. ”Tiger! Go Tiger!”, “You do, man, Tiger!”, “We f’n love you, Tiger!”

Of course, in my head, I man­aged to swap his name for mine mak­ing the whole ex­pe­ri­ence even bet­ter again.

For some rea­son, I thought the Amor­i­cans would have been an­noy­ing with their on the sleeve pa­tri­o­tism and red white and blue blood spilling from their mouths. But it was good – great even. Spe­cial to wit­ness the game we love on the big­gest stage and think­ing, if the Pres­i­dents Cup is this good, how good is the Masters!!!

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