After spending time speaking to John Daly and other tour pros yesterday, several of the GM team retired to the Association of Golf Writers annual dinner last night.
Tour pros in attendance included Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Ernie Els and Golf Monthly’s very own playing editor, David Howell, who had been invited to reply on behalf of the guests in the after-dinner speeches. Without going into any of the detail, he proved to be a natural, humourous, self-deprecating speaker with lots of pithy anecdotes about tour life and the Ryder Cup. A future career awaits for Howeller when the playing career is over.
Dinner over, my room-mate gallantly offered a damsel in distress a lift home, and as he was leaving earlier than the GM taxi I tagged along. However, the damsel’s slightly vague “somewhere in Ayr” directions transpired to be somewhat wide of the mark, and after spending the best part of an hour and a half touring the Ayrshire countryside we eventually arrived home at 1.15am long after the others were tucked up in bed. My room-mate thereupon proceeded to fall asleep as soon as his head hit the sack, before snoring more prolifically than even I allegedly do (never heard it myself to be honest).
Nevertheless we were up bright and breezy and on the road to Turnberry by 7.30 this morning ready for the final day’s practice. Talking of bright and breezy, neither would accurately describe this morning’s weather which is slightly overcast and benignly calm. Time for a bold Ellwood prediction: after some of the heaviest showers I’ve ever encountered yesterday afternoon and more rain overnight to soften the course, if the wind stays as friendly as it is right now, I would predict a pretty low winning score. But scanning the top bookies’ websites, I can currently see no “winning score” markets available. The bookies more than anyone, I guess, know how fickle the links weather can be and are no doubt hedging their bets until the Met Office’s final forecast before committing. In the meantime, I’m going to go for 10-under – but don’t hold me to it.