Windy? You bet your sweet life it’s been windy. I walked several holes yesterday and at least twice was blown backwards a few feet. This, believe me, is links golf at its toughest. Which is terrifc to see.
For great tracts of the year the world’s finest live a cossetted, mink-lined life. All is sweetness, all is light. Complaints are few and when they do emerge they are usually the bleatings of a group that need to get real. Well, it’s not easy this week at this Open.
Brutal is a better adjective but isn’t it fun watching it all unravel? Certainly the punters lining the fairways are having a ball watching players have to use their wits rather than yardage charts, their shot-making abilities (if they have any) rather than a metronomic swing.
If anything, my pleasure when I saw the wind forecast for the day was exceeded by the grin that was pasted across Mark Roe’s face when we joined forces for some heavy duty coffee before venturing outside the rattling Media centre. “Isn’t it great?” asked my old friend. ” I reckon that if par on the first day was around 75 that it’ll be a lot closer to 80 this afternoon. Watching how these guys cope now is going to be spectacular.”
And it was. It just shows that it doesn’t have to be birdies and eagles for a tournament to turn the sharp side of interesting. Adversity is a great ingredient and it is one that brings out the character in those blokes who have character to start with.
Anyway so much for the fun. The otgher big news from Elliott Towers is that my stomach has returned to my abdomen and appears for the first time this week to be in half-decent shape. So much so that by lunchtime I felt ready to do what I haven’t sone since turning all sickly and pathetic on Tuesday…EAT SOMETHING. It meant my first foray into the Media Dining Facility or The Restaurant Of Last Resort as I now know it.
The options were stark…curry (I don’t think so after the week I’ve had) or something called scouse! Initially the thought of eating a recently grilled Liverpudlian was not top of my things to do list but when the nice wee girl behind the counter explained it was potatos and lamb I accepted her offer to shovel a half ton of it on to a plate.
I shouldn’t have bothered. Three forkfuls later I realised that my initial diagnosis of this dish had been more accurate and also that it was probably an Evertonian who had been grilled. Awful doesn’t describe it. My stomach, still reeling from the blows of the week past, is once again grumbling as I write this. Indeed, if you’ll excuse me…