Monday, April 16, 2012

hubba bubba

A couple of thoughts in the aftermath of the exciting climax to the Masters last weekend and Bubba Watson's eventual play-off victory.
  • Watson himself is an interesting character - no doubt a more complex character than the amiable doofus he comes across as both on and off the course, and certainly a more serious golfer than the crazy swing and the pink driver would suggest.
  • Almost inevitably for a high-profile American sportsperson he's also a born-again Christian; to his credit though in the coverage I saw of the green jacket presentation ceremony he managed to avoid banging on about the fact that, as it does every few years, Masters Sunday fell on Easter Sunday. Some of the press coverage suggests I may have just dropped off for that bit, though. Other notable God-botherers and Easter Masters champions who stunk up the post-tournament ceremonies and interviews with their maunderings about imaginary Jewish zombies include Zach Johnson in 2007 and Bernhard Langer in 1993.
  • I think I'm right in saying that Watson is the first ever Masters champion to share a surname with a previous Masters champion (in this case the great Tom Watson, champion in 1977 and 1981). The Masters was the last of the major tournaments not to have namesake champions at some point in its history; this is partly because the Masters only started in 1934 and just doesn't have as much history as the others.
  • Just to prove the point, the Open Championship's long history features various generations of Willie Parks and Tom Morrises, as well as more recent examples like Fred Daly and John Daly.
  • The US Open list features Willie Smith and Alex Smith way back in the day, and more recently Bobby Jones and Steve Jones, Lou Graham and David Graham and Byron Nelson and Larry Nelson.
  • The (unrelated) Nelsons feature in the USPGA list as well.
  • Flitting between the Sky Sports coverage and the BBC coverage provides some interesting insights into the various conversational tics of the commentators and summarisers. Sky have Colin Montgomerie whose stock gambit is to append the phrase "there's no question" to the end of any statement of opinion he makes, as if to pre-empt any, well, questioning. So, was your breakfast OK, Colin? Well, the sausages were absolutely first-rate; there's no question. But the bacon was too salty. Butch Harmon, on the other hand, seems to be waging a single-handed war to get us to say "3-par" and "5-par" instead of "par-3" and "par-5" when referring to specific holes. I've no idea why, and I think if it was really going to take off and catch on it would have happened by now. The BBC, on the other hand, have cuddly old Peter Alliss, who is probably a bit past his sell-by date these days, but still capable of occasional matchless moments of wild improvisational genius.
Finally I offer you a golf-related lookeylikey of the day - European tour journeyman turned US PGA tour journeyman and maker-of-a-very-decent-living-thank-you-very-much-but-probably-not-quite-good-enough-ever-to-win-anything Brian Davis, and rubber-faced comedian and bloke-who-inexplicably-fills-huge arenas-but-who-I-don't-really-get-though-I-thought-he-was-pretty-good-in-There's-Something-About-Mary Lee Evans. I think in both cases it's the sense of the bottom half of the face being slightly too big compared with the upper half, and containing slightly too many teeth.

And they've both got caps on! What are the chances?

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