The Irish Open Pro Am – Part 4
“As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round. ”
Arriving on the 4th tee we noticed a delay ahead and had to wait a few minutes before we got to tee off. This was a common trend for the rest of the day, the round took just shy of six hours. Not that I was complaining as I would have stayed out there all day but with the average round lasting roughly four hours you could see why others would get annoyed.
The delay on the tee was a great opportunity to talk to Michael and his caddy Gerry. We got chatting about basic golf stuff, his past victories etc But I was keen to hear funny stories he’d had in previous pro am’s.
He started telling us about the Russian Open, he was waiting on the first tee when a giant of a man arrived beside him. The plastic wrappers still on all his clubs, basically he’d never ever played before, Michael said he was your stereotypical Russian, reminding him of Ivan Drago from Rocky 4.
He was so bad that word spread throughout the course and other players and officials stopped what they were doing to come over and watch him.
I know, not the funniest story ever, but it lead to Gerry telling us a humdinger. He wasn’t caddying for Michael in Russia that week, he was on Lee Slattery’s bag, who would go on to win the event.
Part of the presentation party that week was Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. After in the clubhouse Roman and his security came up to congratulate Lee again and say his goodbyes, when Gerry built up the courage to say to Roman.
“I hope you enjoyed lifting that trophy, because its the only one you’ll be lifting all year…”
We all teed off and wandered down the fairway. The fourth is a longish Par 5 big trees guarding the right side of the green. Michael hit a good drive but it bounced over to the right side of the fairway. He had roughly 300 yards to the green, but was on a bit of a downhill lie and the trees that were guarding the green blocked a direct route to the green. Basically he’d no shot.
I turned to Ken and said he’ll have to lay this up, but then he pulled out the fairway wood, composed himself and hit what can only be described as a magical golf shot
It rose over the trees and landed about twenty feet from the hole, eagle putt. Which he calmly rolled it. Pure class.
Writing the blog for the last year or so I’ve been keeping an extra eye on golf coverage and I’ve mentioned in other posts how much it annoyed me hearing the stupid questions presenters would ask golfers post round, so I was I really mindful of what I asked Michael walking around.
We both hit good tee shots into the par 3 14th and walked towards the green together when I seized the opportunity to ask another “brilliant” question.
“Micheal does it not bother you some of the stupid questions you get asked by the reporters, like how you felt over a putt etc”.
“To be honest Rob, we love getting asked those questions because it means we’re in contention, if were not getting asked were doing no good”
What a great question Rob, stick to the day job.
Before we knew it we’re walking down 18, the famous Par 5, it’s all nearly over. Poor Kenny’s shoulder is hanging off him and we can smell the food so only one or two more shots hopefully.
Our best drive was a good one but no way we could get the green in two so we all hit nice lay up shots.
Ken informed me I had 86 yards to the flag.
One more “Keep it on the left side Rob”.
Two practice swings and bang. The ball came off the club face so sweet, pitched about ten feet short of the hole, big bounce past the flag and spun back and sat on the lip of the hole. No one could understand how it didn’t go in.
But I didn’t care, I got the cheers and claps from the little crowd that was there and and there was no way I could miss that putt on the left, that was for sure.