Next week, the Open golf tournament (its not the British Open, as some call it, by the way) heads to Carnoustie, a course at which I can proudly say I played at, in the dim distant past. No, dont get excited, I didnt play the actual course that those top pro golfers will be playing at, I played the 18 hole putting green, with my partner of the time, but it was literally next door to the 1st hole, close to where all those players will be teeing off, to start their round. No, seriously, we couldnt have afforded to play the course, my partner was never more than a ‘pitch and putt/Par 3’ player, and by that age, in truth, neither was I. My days of being a 13 handicap golfer had long since passed by then.
We also played St Andrews on the same trip, probably the most unique putting course I’ve ever seen. You know, most of these things are on a pretty much flat surface, and if you just hit it at the hole, it goes in? No, St Andrews was nothing like that! Slopes, twists, and turns, the complete works! And yes, again, you could see the Old Course while playing it! Yes, now, most definitely the closest I will ever get to playing one of the famous name golf courses.
But back to Carnoustie…
For me at least, even having played in the hallowed grounds, my most amazing memory of the place was when the Open was previously held there, in 1999. Anyone who saw Jean Van De Velde conjure up defeat from the jaws of victory on the last hole, is never likely to forget that. What people forget is that Paul Lawrie wasnt even in contention going into the last day, shot the round of the tournament, but even then, Van De Velde only had to play the last with an element of care, and the title was his. As history shows, he didnt! Unfortunately, his career never really recovered after that.
As for this week, I hope the tournament is exciting, but I hope no one throws it away like that on the last hole of the tournament.
Oh, and while talking matters French, I suppose I’d better congratulate France on winning the Football/Soccer World Cup today. No, I didnt see any of the game, but the scoreline (4-2) suggests it was exciting at least? To prove how unnecessary it is to know anything about the sport, I entered a competition online. Thousands of entries, end up tied for 36th!
Seeing I cant find a song about Carnoustie, or Mr Van De Velde, lets go with a French video tonight. I have to say it, their anthem is a hell of a lot more inspiring than ours! From the World Cup, no less!