| Fi­nal Shot

Hol­ly­wood star Greg Kin­n­ear talks ex­clu­sively to HK Golfer at the re­cent Dun­hill Links Championship.

HK Golfer - - Contents - By Charles McLaugh­lin

I said, “has he switched tech­nol­ogy? Has he moved around put­ters and stuff?” And he said, “No. He keeps the same thing year in and year out.” And I was like, “Oh, that’s in­ter­est­ing. So, why do you think that is?” And he said, “it’s like act­ing. You ei­ther got it or you don’t!” And I was like, “okay, well I def­i­nitely don’t have it then!” Tiger has used the same Scotty Cameron putter for al­most his en­tire ca­reer... Yeah. It’s a weird thing. For those guys to be able to just putt like that... I’m fas­ci­nated by put­ting but I strug­gle with it. I’m not good. Any­one in HK Golfer who has put­ting tips, I’m open to it. Please open the field wide up! What does the Dun­hill Links Championship mean to you? So, I came here it must have been about 8 or 9 years ago - bas­ing that on the ages of all of my daugh­ters! Some­how, I got out of the house with three young kids to play in this and noth­ing pre­pares you for this event. You know there are plenty of “celebrity” events back in the U.S. but there is some­thing about be­ing in Europe. I grew up in Europe as a kid - my father was with the Amer­i­can em­bassy, so I grew up in Greece - and just the idea of be­ing back among these guys, these Tour play­ers who have had a hell of a week (win­ning Ry­der Cup) as you might have heard! You know, the great ca­ma­raderie that you see in the Ry­der Cup, it car­ries into this tour­na­ment. These guys are fun to play with and cer­tainly there is a tra­di­tion of this event that’s re­ally in­cred­i­ble. Ev­ery year, you see a lot of the same faces, I’ve met so many friends here and it’s a tremen­dous golf event. Ev­ery­one you see are laugh­ing, smil­ing and just en­joy­ing them­selves... Which is your favourite of the three cour­ses in the Dun­hill Links? For me, the tra­di­tion of the Old Course gets me ev­ery time. It re­ally does. I don’t score par­tic­u­larly well on it and I don’t have lots of great sto­ries about “rounds I’ve played at the Old Course” I could tell you. “Well, I shot this or I shot that...” But I love the course.

I love the lay­out of it and I just love the his­tory of it, as I think a lot of peo­ple do.

Carnoustie I ad­mire and re­spect, but I can’t say it’s my favourite course be­cause it beats you up too badly, you know? But it cer­tainly gets an hon­or­able men­tion, as does Kings­barns!

Most mem­o­rable mo­ment here?

Well, my most fa­mous mo­ment, was when I was play­ing with (Miguel An­gel) Jimenez. We were very close to mak­ing the cut - I had never made the cut - and it was go­ing to hap­pen this year. And I loved him as a part­ner. We fin­ished ev­ery round, we’d go and have a bot­tle of wine. I don’t know that we un­der­stood one an­other com­pletely there was a lot of hand sig­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween he and I - but a won­der­ful guy, and we had so much fun. I once scored an ea­gle and he con­grat­u­lated me in Span­ish – I think! – and gave me a cigar!

Any­way, it came down to me hav­ing to make about a three-foot putt in or­der for us to make the cut. And I missed the putt…

So, the next day, I catch the plane back to Los An­ge­les and we have a health emer­gency, of some­one on the plane, which causes us to land in Reyk­javik, which is hav­ing a snow storm so bad that we can’t get out of Ice­land for so long that the pi­lot comes on and says, “We’re gonna have to fly back to Lon­don. I stay the night in Lon­don, I catch the same flight back home again. So lit­er­ally, it’s the three-foot-putt that costs me a day of my life! That, I’ve never been at peace with. I do think about that ev­ery time I’m here. I lost a day of my life for a three-foot putt… Jimenez is a leg­end in Hong Kong. Four-time win­ner of the HK Open...

Yeah. Four times?! Wow, he must love that vibe. Red wine sales go through the roof, cigars come out and peo­ple wear pony tails. Ev­ery­one has fallen in love with him. That’s funny. And the crowd gets be­hind and likes him. Well, he’s just such a guy to root for, right? Ter­rific, and he’s still play­ing so well.

Who would be in your dream four­ball?

I’d prob­a­bly want my Dad, who doesn’t play golf any­more, he plays ten­nis but it’s hard for him to even do that any­more. I’d cer­tainly put my Dad on the list of the dream four­some - in bet­ter health - and I’d prob­a­bly take my three daugh­ters. It’s gonna be a five­some, okay, I’ve de­cided. And it’s gonna be about a nine-and-ahalf-hour round but that’s the round I’m go­ing for! And my wife is driv­ing the cart.

For­mer U.S. ten­nis star John McEnroe (R) re­acts next to U.S. ac­tor Greg Kin­n­ear (C) dur­ing a celebrity match ahead of the 42nd Ry­der Cup at Le Golf Na­tional Course

Greg Kin­n­ear at the pre­miere of House of Cards fi­nal sea­sonin Los An­ge­les

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