Funny the things you find out at golf tournaments. Breaking off from not very much yesterday, I had lunch in the clubhouse, joining a Spanish journalist pal. Inevitably we switched from golf talk to football speak. I mentioned the Real Madrid-Eintracht European Cup Final 50 years (7-4 and probably the best game ever played) and the role played in it by Alfredo Di Stefano, the Argentinian centre-forward.
My pal asked me if I knew why Di Stefano ended up at Madrid rather than Barcelona? It turns out Alfredo wanted to go to Barcelona, but his club wanted him to go to Real. This problem was passed on to General Franco, who had Spain under his fascist boot at the time. Franco was a Real Madrid fan and the rest is now history.
Meanwhile, back on the course, not a huge lot was happening. Over the first couple of days this has been a terrific Masters, but somehow the third round fell a wee bit flat.
Except that Phil Mickelson was on the cusp of getting things going, Tiger was clinging on to an outside chance and Angel Cabrera was thrashing his ball round in a quite exciting fashion.
Not as exciting, of course, as meeting the Fashion Editor of Golf Digest, America’s premier golf mag. Yes, cripes, they actually have a Fashion Editor. I may suggest this to the editor of Golf Monthly when eventually I return to dear old Blighty, but then again I might not. After all the standard of fashion in the GM office reminds me of nothing but an Oxfam shop caught short of gear in mid-February.
The favourite clothing colour of my colleagues appears to be black, a choice, I am convinced, that is based on how often you need to wash something above everything else.
Yesterday I also bumped into Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood who had been visiting the BBC booth. Both signed a hat I was carrying around that is to be auctioned off to raise money for cancer research in memory of my old Guardian and Observer colleague, Dai Davies.
Both were also in good moods after decent rounds although Lee was regretting the chances he missed. “I could have had a 65 today really, but I just didn’t quite make the most of what I created,” he said.
Still he is now in the top ten and in with a chance of beating his best finish here to date, sixth. Winning, he feels, is now not an option. “It looks like those guys at the top of the leaderboard are putting too much distance between them and the rest of us. Maybe two of them will come back, but not all three.”
Sadly, he may well be correct. I’m off for a drink, or maybe three.