Wentworth Notebook: Sunday
Our Matt Cooper is at Wentworth for the European Tour’s flagship event. Check out the latest news from on and off the course.
Matt Cooper is at Wentworth all week, walking the fairways and driving range, on the lookout for all the on-and-off the course stories and information. If you’ve got a player you want him to check out, or any questions to ask, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Casey the champion
Around the 18th green after play Soren Kjeldsen’s wife suddenly doubles over and a marshal leaps to her aid – but it turns out she is merely polite and is allowing the paying spectators the opportunity to see the awards ceremony.
Ross Fisher is handed a mobile phone and takes a congratulatory message before ending it with the words: “Sorry, I’ve got to go and get a prize.”
And Paul Casey can’t keep the smile off his face – PGA Champion 2009; number three in the world (the first Englishman to make the top three since Nick Faldo) and number one in the Race to Dubai.
Come on the Fish
Whilst baking in the heat around the 18th green, news of Ross Fisher’s birdie two on the tenth comes through on the leader board. Once a scholarship boy at the Wentworth club’s academy the update goes down well with the locals.
“Come on the Fish” and “Get in there Ross boy” they cried. Others started to applaud their man.
If/when he’s in contention walking up 18 it could get very loud.
Finding the green
Australian Richard Green doesn’t appear to have done anything special today in finishing with a round of 71 for a three under par total of 285, but one group of fans seemed quite taken with him.
Leaving the scorer’s hut and walking across the lawn to a crowd of 30-odd people he was greeted with a round of applause and a big kiss from one elegant lady.
I wonder what they would have done if he had made the top ten – or even won the event?
The name is Quiros …
Spain’s Alvaro Quiros is famously an avid James Bond fan and I wonder if he was thinking of his hero on the first hole today? I was because in his gallery was a stunning Gemma Arterton lookalike.
Two early birdies suggest Alvero had spotted her and was trying to impress the latest Bond girl’s dead ringer.
Ironically, as I was being distracted and Quiros was making par on the first, Pablo Larrazabal joined in with the Bond theme by visiting the trees on the way to a triple bogey 007.
As the final few groups prepared to tee off the atmosphere around the first tee and practice green was electric. The players were trying to stay cool in the hot sunshine, desperate not to be distracted by the massed ranks of fans and the well-wishes of family and friends.
There was just time for a few last minute tasks: Ross Fisher’s wife Jo handed over some granary bread sandwiches to her husband’s caddy, Soren Kjeldsen’s bag man remembered to wet his towel, Rory McIlroy smiled his thanks to his legion of young fans and Team Casey had a quick seminar on the practice green.
The glorious weather continues – in fact this morning feels hotter and brighter than yesterday.
The sunshine has pulled the punters through the gates all week with attendance up on recent years. Indeed there have been over 20,000 on each of the last two days.
The possibility of a Rory McIlroy charge may see 2006’s 22,886 figure smashed.
If anyone out there is of the opinion that the pin positions can reveal much about the prospects of the leaders, the following information may be of interest.
As usual the split is more or less equal – ten pins close to the left side of the greens today and eight close to the right.
But if it is tight at the top of the leader board around the turn it might be worth noting that six of the last greens have pins on the left hand side (14 and 17 are the two exceptions). Will that favour a player who draws the ball?
I had a look at the pro-am results over breakfast this morning. Second place went to Colin Montgomerie’s BMW team of Bruce Forsyth, Matt Dawson and Andrew Cotter.
The next best celeb team was the Sky four-ball who came in fourth thanks to Jose Maria Olazabal, Di Stewart and Will Greenwood.
Yesterday Rory McIlroy revealed that his swing is feeling so good at the moment that he can draw or fade the ball at will. After his third round Paul Casey was told about this.
“Damn him,” was his entertaining reply.
“Can you do that?” someone asked.
“I can hook and slice the ball at will,” Casey smiled.
In my Guinea Pig column I have been coaching my mind with the assistance of Dr Karl Morris at golfmindfactor.com. One of the most revealing aspects so far has been discovering that the media and the players have vastly differing objectives at the end of a round. The media want to predict and forecast, the players should steer clear of such prompts – to do otherwise risks losing focus and not staying in the present.
I’m on Paul Casey this week but I was a little concerned by his press conference last night – the questions he had to face and the answers he was giving make me wonder if he isn’t getting a little too ahead of himself. Hopefully a good night’s sleep will right the ship.
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