Well, here we are at the Ryder Cup. And the best news is that the power is back on. I’m serious about this. You try living in a hotel without electricity or hot water for two days and see how you feel. More important, see how other people feel about you.
Why was there no power? A bit of Hurricane Ike hit Louisville over the weekend with winds up to 80mph and dumped nearly 10 inches of water on the area, shutting down the electricity supply for 300,000 residents. And me.
This, I felt anyway, was not just a wilful act on the part of someone’s god but an ironic one too because it was in this city that the first electric light bulb was switched on by Thomas Edison in the late 19th century. You really cannot make it up. Well, you can but in this instance I’m not. Honest.
Light was restored at around 10pm last night by which time the core of the British press corps were three hours into a drinking session in the candlelit but unromantic hotel bar. It was, naturally, several minutes before any of us noticed the difference.
No problems to report however out at Valhalla. The teams are now here and the place is beginning to take on some life and shape. It is still two days of course before the action starts but the players are filling in their time practising a bit and then talking to us about how they feel, how they are playing, how they think their respective teams will do and how much money they have all lost on the Stock Exchange this week.
What the Americans won’t tell us is who they intend voting for in the Presidential election. Mind you they don’t need to. The next American golfer I know who isn’t a Republican will be the first. Heck, one team nearly refused to go and have dinner with Bill Clinton when he was in the White House. Right wing doesn’t quite capture it.
Lacklustre does though. The way these shebangs work from a media point of view is that we sit in a big tent and pro golfers are then wheeled in to talk to us. It’s a funny arrangement. Sort of along the lines of a series of freewheeling job interviews. For me the interest is not so much in what these blokes say but how they say it and what their body language tells us.
So far the Europeans are ahead on points. Funnier – well, a bit anyway, and more obviously closer together as a team (again!) they are charming the audience. The Americans by contrast seem quite ill at ease. No-one captured their apparent lack of total interest than Phil Mickelson when he dropped by. Asked if he now saw himself as a ‘team leader’ in the absence of Tiger Woods, the Lolloping One shrugged his shoulders and said that his only job was to “play well”. He may have yawned as he said it.
What I do know is that I yawned as I wrote this. A mixture of jetlag and alcohol is now taking its toll. Plus it is 80+ degrees out here. So forgive me if I must slip away now. I’ve got to get myself into something close to top shape because tonight I am off to the gala dinner, black-tied up and ready to rock. Or at least eat a roll.
These gala things are usually good fun. The best bit is watching the teams as they eat. I know, I know, it’s rude to watch other people eat but it’s the body language thing I’m on about again. Two years ago in Dublin I watched Tiger Woods apparently sleep his way through Van Morrison’s gig. Van The Man’s on stage and you sleep?
Who is on the stage tonight and who falls asleep I’ll let you know tomorrow. Until then have a good time back there in jolly, old Blighty. Oh, and in Scotland too. Or is Scotland in Blighty? I’m never sure about these things. Bye for now.