Thursday 14 November 2019

Short Chips

Goosen soars

Retief Goosen burst out of the blocks like Usain Bolt, landing an eagle two on the first yesterday with a glorious mid-iron which pitched a couple of feet shy of the pin and took one bounce into the cup.

Goosen is the fifth man to eagle the first at The Masters. On a sober note, his four predecessors didn't have much luck. Frank Moore finished tied 31st in 1940; Roberto de Vicenzo signed for a four instead of a three at 17 on Sunday in 1968 and missed a play-off by one; Takaaki Kono finished a respectable 12th in 1970 and Scott Verplank missed the cut in 1987.

Honesty best policy

Honesty turned out to be the best policy when I was clocked at 15mph over the limit by a speed trap and was chased down by a Richmond County Sheriff's Deputy on Augusta's Bobby Jones Expressway.

Having collected a colleague from a late night flight, we were rushing to our lodgings because our landlady was waiting up for us ... the dear lady is aged 92 and it was well after midnight.

When I explained this to the young Deputy, he smiled, took another look at the Irish driving licence, handed it back and waved me on, saying: "Nobody would make up an excuse like that. Drive safely sir and take heed, the maximum speed limit on any road in Augusta is 55."


IF it's considered bad luck to win the annual pre-Masters Par 3 competition, England's Luke Donald certainly created some good karma with his decision to donate $5,000 to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief effort for every birdie he makes at Augusta National this week. It certainly worked, as he covered from three-over to finish one-under par for the first day.

Irish Independent

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