Despite the fact that after four ridiculously late nights staying up to watch the US Open I’m totally exhausted, I have come up with a brilliant idea that I think the USGA, or whoever it is who runs the championship (sorry, I’m just too tired to conduct any research and look it up), will appreciate.
Ordinarily the people who run golf are not the most progressive types. They like tradition and one of the most enduring traditions in golf is that the game be run by dinosaurs, who strictly belong in the Pleistocene era (at least I think it’s the Pleistocene era but, I told you, I can’t be bothered to check anything this week.) Well the USGA, or whoever it is, have dramatically demonstrated that they are perfectly capable of embracing new ideas and aren’t nearly as stuffy as they might at first appear. All of which gives me cause to hope.
The great innovative experiment that the blazers tried for the first time at this year’s US Open was to throw the top three players in the world together in the same group for the first two rounds. Quite why they wanted 85% of the crowd jammed around one group is not entirely clear. Coincidentally, this unholy trinity also received 85% of the television coverage, which reinforces my suspicion that the idea originally came from some overpaid TV executive who assumed that the world is only interested in watching Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson go head to head. Adam Scott, poor chap, was thrown in because they needed a third. They must have worried about who to cover before this trio teed off until the same executive came up with another brilliant idea, Instead of watching no-hopers hack it round, let’s show Tiger warming up on the practice ground. Mark my words, next year the cameras will switch from some hapless pro’s eagle putt to Tiger disappearing into the toilet.
NO, THAT’S NOT MY IDEA! Sorry, I didn’t mean to shout but I’m very tired. Did I mention that? I can’t remember. Anyway, my idea is that the next time they play the US Open out on the west coast (I could look up when that’ll be but well, you know the rest). Where were we? You see, that’s what happens when you don’t get your eight hours, you lose your train of thought. Oh yes, out on the west coast. The next time they go there with its six, seven or eight hour time difference, they should let the leaders tee off first on days three and four instead of last. It’s altogether more logical to allow the leading group to go off first, the second group off second and make the no-hopers hang around. For one thing, this will ensure that the best players get the best of the conditions. I think it was Aristotle who argued that you should give the best violins to the best violinists. Or was it Plato? And it can’t have been violins, can it? No, I’m not looking it up. At the moment, they have to put up with all the spike marks that’s the golfers, not the violinists and associated inconveniences created by the lesser players taking loads of putts and generally fooling about far more than they really should.
An honest bloke, I can’t however pretend that the state of the greens is my greatest concern. No, my priority is the Great British public in general and me in particular and the damage that lack of sleep can do. Leaving to one side emotive issues like road safety, other dreadful things can happen. For example, I have just remembered about half an hour too late because I can hear the dustcart disappearing down the road to put out our wheelie bin. I promised my wife that I wouldn’t forget and I will almost certainly now have to make an unscheduled, environmentally damaging, visit to the tip because there isn’t another collection for a fortnight. Multiply that little saga by several hundred thousand and you can see why, given the fragile state of our economy and my marriage, these late nights are not a good thing.
I apologise if I sound a little tetchy but that’s what staying up until three in the morning for four nights in a row (or was it until four in the morning for three nights in a row?) does to you. Enough ranting, it’s nearly midday and I’m off to bed to dream about next year’s US Open which is being played at who cares, so long as it finishes before one in the morning?