Maybe I’m just becoming an old misery guts in my old age – or dotage, if my propensity for forgetting names is anything to go by. [Note to self: You were always useless at remembering names but is that just giving me false hope that all is well? A version of just because you’re not paranoid it doesn’t mean that they’re not out to get you?…Is rambling another sign of decline? Though, again, that’s hardly new.]
Maybe it’s just that it’s still grey and wet outside and the garden is now drenched after being blown to blazes – and I mangled a vulnerable, newly-planted Japanese anemone that was holding its own until I stepped on it. Maybe I’m just grumpy but I just can’t embrace Bryson DeChambeau and his bashing, however “scientific”. I wasn’t going to mention him again this week but he won the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit on Sunday thanks to monstrous driving and stunning putting and, of course, is now seen as the future of golf.
On Twitter, Eddie Pepperell joked – at least I hope it was a joke – that he was going to bulk up a la Bryson so that he could hit his drives within 75 yards of the American’s. More seriously, Malachy Clerkin wrote a piece for the Irish Times with the headline “Tipping Point: DeChambeau’s transformation raises questions but who will ask them?” Clerkin mentioned the big weight gain in just a few months, golf’s “notoriously toothless anti-doping record”, the “cartoonishly dominant” driving.
Clerkin stressed that “the libel laws insist that it is made clear that there is no suggestion that DeChambeau has done anything untoward in gaining all this bulk. His social channels have been all over his transformation from the start, posting footage of his daily gym sessions and so on. Every second reference to him on TV broadcasts seems to mention protein shakes and a revolutionary gym routine and all that jazz. Until we hear otherwise, that must all be taken in good faith. Doesn’t mean that the question shouldn’t be asked, all the same.”
The friend who sent me the Irish Times piece reckoned that DeChambeau was putting on fat as well as muscle – they mentioned a gut (sorry, Bryson) – and couldn’t believe the difference between the player who competed in Dubai in January and the man we’re seeing now: “His increase in size is incredible.”
If it happened in any other sport, we’d all be asking hard, cynical questions and golf, an Olympic sport, at least for the time being, has to be held to account – and should be seen to hold itself to account. Nothing wrong with transparency, surely?….
Listening to the radio the other day I heard an interesting fact (though goodness knows who verified it or how): a hummingbird consumes the calorific equivalent of 228 milk shakes daily.
Where does that put Bryson I wonder?
Moving swiftly on, the Ryder Cup has been postponed until 2021, which has meant the Presidents Cup moving to 2022. That means the Solheim Cup and the Ryder Cup being played in the same year and I’m inclined to think that there should be no more shunting of the Solheim. If Mike Whan, the LPGA commissioner, thinks it can hold its own and thrive in the same year as the Ryder, let’s give it a go. Perhaps they shouldn’t both be in America (and then Europe) at the same time, so that’s a juggle to be considered, otherwise, have at it. But, please, please, please, move the Curtis Cup away from the Solheim.
There have been plenty of Irish Curtis Cuppers but so far not a single Irish Solheim Cupper. Let’s hope that Leona Maguire, who won an Irish Scratch Series event (for pros and elite amateurs, men and women) at Seapoint Golf Links a few days ago and Stephanie Meadow, the new touring professional for Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort, change all that. I’m looking forward to the female equivalent of the Padraig Harrington effect: once he’d made the breakthrough at Carnoustie in 2007, you couldn’t stop Irishmen winning majors.
We women had a medal at WHGC on Tuesday but I confess I didn’t enter, having become a bit of a wuss during lockdown and a fan of a gentle nine holes, with nary a card or pencil in sight. Except that scoring now seems to be preferred by mobile phone – screen glare, rain and failing eyesight permitting, of course. There was, I believe, a certain amount of chaos, not least because it was chucking it down with rain and it was hard to note down scores on the hoof, then not many people fancied standing outside, sodden, getting more sodden or sitting, sodden, alone, socially distanced, in their car, sorting out their scores – providing they could get a signal.
Rising above all this were the GEMS, our new members, so keen that they put some of us to shame with their enthusiasm.
Here they are, still beaming, an inspiration.