SA golfers in prestigious tournament

2012-08-03 00:00

THE fourth and final Major golf tournament of the year, the 94th United States PGA, will be played at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina, starting next week Thursday. The winner is presented with the Wanermaker Trophy.

Even though the U.S. PGA probably ranks in fourth place behind the three other Majors, (in prestige and importance) the best players on the planet will assemble for this one. There are no special invitations and no amateurs in the 156-strong field and the players have earned the right to be on the entry list by their performances. Ten South Africans are playing.

Pete Dye designed the Ocean Course and it is best known as the venue for the Ryder Cup in 1991. It has the unique distinction of hosting the Ryder Cup when the course first opened. The U.S. PGA will be the first Major trophy held at the Ocean Course. The course is a par 72 and from the back tees it measures a mammoth 7 937 yards (7 258 metres). Located on the eastern-most part of the island, the Ocean Course has more seaside holes than any other course in the northern hemisphere, 10 of them running alongside the Atlantic Ocean and the other eight holes are parallel to the first 10.

The course is unAmerican because it resembles some of the celebrated British and Irish links courses. The wind is apparently unpredictable and blows briskly and often, which will definitely influence the scores. Generally, Americans dislike windy links golf courses and it’s going to be interesting to see whether the Europeans can challenge for the top honour.

The course has been modified over the past few years to allow for new equipment and the extra distance that the present-day golfers strike the modern golf ball. This tournament will perhaps be upstaged by the final few days of the Olympic Games but there is guaranteed excitement on the final day at Kiawah Island if the wind blows.

Could Ernie Els win again? It’s late-night viewing again though.

From the 19th hole:

A man was walking down the street when he was accosted by a dirty and shabby-looking homeless man who asked him for a couple of rands for something to eat.

The man took out his wallet, pulled out a few notes and asked: “If I give you this money, will you buy some beer instead of food?”

“No, I had to stop drinking years ago,” The homeless man replied.

“Will you spend this on green fees at a golf course instead of food?” the man asked.

“Are you crazy!” replied the homeless man. “I haven’t played golf in 20 years!”

“Well,” said the man, “I’m not going to give you money. Instead, I’m going to take you home for a terrific dinner cooked by my wife.”

The homeless man was astounded: “Won’t your wife be furious with you for doing that?”

The man replied: “Maybe but it’s important for her to see what a man looks like after he has given up drinking and golf.”

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