Saturday 27 December 2014

Pro golfers in danger of sending us to sleep

Published 28/12/2013 | 02:30

Alvaro Quiros
Alvaro Quiros

Alvaro Quiros may have helped Europe reclaim the Royal Trophy last weekend, but he also turned a four-foot putt into a three-hour feature film.

That, at least, was how it felt during Saturday's fourballs as he arrived at the 18th green with partner Nicolas Colsaerts, needing to sink the putt to rescue a half.

Quiros walked up to his ball as if approaching an erect cobra, which was about as decisive as he was going to be.

Over and back he would march, consulting with Colsaerts, their two caddies, then Colsaerts again. To a man, they looked completely befuddled, as if that distance of four feet represented some kind of treacherous safari through terrain that was heavily mined.

The consultations lasted for maybe three minutes before, bizarrely, Europe's captain -- Jose Maria Olazabal -- accepted an invitation to participate. But he, too, found the challenge forbidding, gravely eyeing the ball from every angle as if convinced he could hear a hissing sound.

If a Sunday fourball played this slow, they'd have been frog-marched out the gate. But these men were professionals, the putt important. So Quiros stretched our wait to at least five minutes before, lo and behold, rolling the ball in.

Cue an outbreak of high fives and bear-hugs on a golf course somewhere in China; cue the sound of kettles boiling in every viewer's home.

Irish Independent

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