Funny how the brain works (if it works at all, that is) and how it makes connections whether they are actually there or not.

I was supposed to go to Lichfield this past week to go with Patricia to the theatre to see Fascinating Aida.  We have seen them a couple of times in the past and their own website describes them as “Britain’s raciest and sassiest musical cabaret trio”.  They are not for the faint-hearted or those who are easily offended but they do deliver some amazingly clever, observational, musical comedy, one of my all-time favourites being their song “Cheap Flights”.  It’s a humorous rhyming rant about all the add-ons you end up paying for on a flight that’s advertised as costing 50p.

Irreverent, clever, rude and very funny. []

Anyway, I didn’t get to Lichfield because of a misbehaving back which has kept me housebound this last week.  This gave me ample time to keep up to date with the golf news from all arts and parts of the world.  First to catch my eye was the report in the excellent Irish Golf Desk by Brian Keogh that Joe Lyons from Galway had posted an impressive final round 67 to win the Spanish Seniors’ Amateur Championship at Real Club Sevilla Golf.  A former winner of the West of Ireland Championship and the current Irish Senior Close Champion, Lyons is extending his considerable reputation with this international win………. but the new champ was forced to go home empty handed.

Ryanair refused to allow him to bring the trophy home with him!  Doh?  What’s that all about?  And my brain immediately jumped to Fascinating Aida and their famous ditty.  The airline did relent and send the trophy on the next flight, relaying it by courier up to Galway…. but only after Joe had tweeted about his disappointment in them.  What WERE they thinking?

Another great win for Joe Lyons, seen here on the right receiving his trophy from Pablo Mansilla, president of the Royal Golf Federation of Andalucia. Joe was parted from the silverware at the airport on the way home. [RFEG.]

And what was Jake Knapp thinking, I wonder, after winning on Sunday in Mexico on the PGA Tour in only his ninth start?  The 29-year old had played extensively on the Canadian Tour in honing his craft before earning his PGA Tour card last year after finishing high in the final season standings on the Korn Ferry circuit.  Simply teeing it up in Vidanta in the Mexico Open was quite an achievement considering that less than two years ago he was working part-time as a nightclub bouncer in order to finance his golf and pay for his travel and entry fees.  Asked what he learned from that experience he succinctly replied, “I didn’t want to be a bouncer all my life”.

No danger of that now.  For a start, $1.46 million has crash-landed into his bank account, not to mention exemptions and invitations into all of this year’s majors, plus PGA tour status until the end of 2026 at the earliest.  “Life changing” is a much bandied-about term but it was never more accurate than in this case and who doesn’t love a moving story?  I certainly do.

Life will never be the same again for Jake Knapp. []

I only had to turn my attention to the DP World Tour to find myself reaching for the paper hankies again to dab my ever moistening eyes.  The tournament was the Magical Kenya Open, the venue Muthaiga Golf Club.  Where to start?

Perhaps with the winner, 34-year old Darius van Driel from the Netherlands.  A broken hand led to him giving up golf for a number of years but he found his way into the pro ranks almost a decade ago and managed a couple of runner-up positions on the DP World Tour.  Last year saw him lose his card but he gritted it out at tour school and bounced back, scooping the ultimate reward last week with his victory.

Another heartwarming story featured the man who was joint runner-up.  He was also possibly the man who delivered your Morrison’s shopping the week before last.  Joe Dean, like van Driel, earned his card at tour school last year and this was only the 29-year old Englishman’s second ever start on the main European tour.  Not having enough funds to play every event he was supplementing his income, not by being a bouncer a la Jake Knapp, but by working for the supermarket as a delivery driver.  There should be a vacancy there now if you’re interested.  Joe has tucked away almost 200,000 euros so he won’t be needing it.

And there’s more…….

Ever heard of Ronald Rugumayo?  No, neither had I.  That’s Ronald’s picture at the top of the piece – he’s holding his lucky ball.

Last Friday Ronald stood on the 9th tee (his final hole of the day) at Muthaiga Golf Club knowing that he needed a birdie to be sure of making the cut.  He decided to change his ball from a number 4 to his favourite, a number 3.  His second shot finished just over six feet away and his putt disappeared in the right-hand side of the hole making birdie and making history.

“Happens every week in a golf tournament somewhere or other,” I hear you cry.  Er, no!  Ronald is the first player from Uganda to make the cut in a DP World event.  Truly history in the making.

It was a brilliant moment for Ronald, for Uganda, for East Africa but also, I’m sure, for the R&A whose tireless efforts to spread the game in Africa are now bearing fruit with Uganda having a home-grown role model and hero of their own.

A knees bend from Ronald and the ball is gobbled up for a closing birdie and history is made. [dpworldtour]

“There are no words that I can use to express how I feel,” said Rugumayo.

“I’m so grateful for Kenyans, my fellow Ugandans who flew all the way (to watch me). Honestly, it’s not about me as a player, it’s not about Uganda, it’s about East Africa. Everything I’m doing, I’m doing for East Africa.”

This is what golf does time and time again.  Just when you’re ready to wash your hands of it completely the sport throws up people and stories that are irresistible.  It’s all making me fall back in love a little bit, well, no actually, quite a big bit, with the men’s professional game again.

It’s similar to when you are out playing a load of rubbish and you reach the last tee and, from nowhere, you stripe it down the middle.  By the time you’re in the clubhouse you’re hooked again.