The other day, on the radio, somebody said that we’d never complete our ‘to do’ lists, that the day we breathe our last, there’ll still be something on the list. As somebody constantly and vainly trying to get her affairs and house in order, I found that strangely comforting; phew; I can relax; it’ll never all get done.
I was rooting around in my book room, a mess of boxes and bits and pieces and a sofa bed that’s hidden from view under a pile of stuff, trying to find that Dinah Shore badge that I know is there somewhere. Having given up the search, the wee pic at the top of the piece, the featured image (fingers crossed, technology permitting), shows you why said search was unsuccessful.
Dinah’s tournament, which has had a number of names, is now The Chevron Championship and has moved to the Woodlands in Texas after a lifetime at Mission Hills in California. It is the first women’s major of the season and Stacy Lewis, the US Solheim Cup captain, a proud local, is thrilled to be playing so close to so many friends and family. She also talked about the importance of not forgetting the event’s history, of acknowledging its importance and weaving the old into the new.
“Chevron put together a player advisory group,” Lewis said. “They wanted to know what was important to us to make the championship special. There’s obviously a lot of traditions with this event and what…were most important to us. They asked current players, they asked retired players, they asked everybody.
“To me, Dinah is and was the most important thing. You can take the leap in Poppies Pond and all that kind of stuff but to me, there’s a reason Dinah is the only non-playing person in our LPGA Hall of Fame. There’s a reason for that. Chevron crushed it. You see it with the trophy. Dinah’s Place on 18. Everything is about Dinah this week.”Look Dinah up, she was a singing superstar in her day, friend of Sinatra, Hope, Crosby, you name them. It was an Englishman, David Foster, who worked for Colgate, who persuaded her to switch from tennis to golf and send the profile of the LPGA and women’s golf soaring. Dinah grew to love golf and golfers and that’s how she ended up in the LPGA Hall of Fame, one of the pickiest in all of sports (as the Americans might say).
Now, am I going to switch from golf to football or something completely random? Having recovered my Spring issue of Golf Quarterly (www.golfquarterly.co.uk) from under the usual pile of papers, I immediately thought of Rory when I read the Sporting Truths and I quote two. First, Bernard Darwin, who knew a thing or two about the vagaries of the game: “Golf being a cold, calculating game gives perhaps more scope for folly than any other. We have all the time in the world to make up our minds as to what is the wise thing to do, and then we do the foolish one.”
Second, and irrefutable, Keith Miller, the flamboyant Australian cricketer who was one of Don Bradman’s Invincibles after surviving World War II as a pilot: “Pressure is a Messerschmitt on your tail – playing cricket is not.”
So I suppose there’s no pressure at all watching Spurs, just a lot of agony at the moment, longing for moments of ecstasy. Last weekend, against Bournemouth, our defending was dire and Denise, over from Ireland for the treat of seeing the THS (Tottenham Hotspur Stadium) for the first time, had to suffer the frustration of a 3-2 defeat. It was our 10th league defeat of the season, so the fact that we still have even a sniff of a top four finish tells you what a weird old campaign it’s been.The next day, at the Poundland Bescot Stadium, more than 5,000 of us watched Aston Villa play Chelsea in the semi-final of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup. Chelsea, the Cup holders x 2 (they’re going for three in a row), had beaten Villa 3-nil in the league a couple of weeks before but they had a tougher time of it this time and just managed to sneak a 1-nil win thanks to a spring-heeled header from Sam Kerr, the Australian who’d help sink England at Wembley a few days earlier.
It was a dreaded BBU (brave but unavailing) by Villa and the players, who had given their all, were gutted, slumped on the pitch, despair and disappointment oozing from every pore. Hard luck, well played doesn’t quite cover it. Not much consolation that it was a cracking game.
Nearly forgot to tell you that my train down to London was delayed, just outside Rugby as it turned out, for so long that the full fare was refunded. An Avanti train pulled up alongside to deliver a new driver – they wouldn’t tell us exactly what the problem was but I hope the original driver is OK – and I spent the time applying for my compensation.
It only takes a delay of 15 minutes (which seems a bit short) to allow you to apply for some money back. I thought it would be about a tenner, so I donated my refund to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, London Northwestern’s chosen charity. The next day I found out that it was my full fare! Still, as an oldie with a senior railcard, it was only £25.70…