Variety is the spice of life

2012-05-25 00:00

SOME say that it was a breath of fresh air to see Manchester City win the English Premiership. They say this because it broke Manchester United’s domination of English football and a different winning team is good for neutral spectators and for the game.

Likewise a few years ago, it wasn’t considered much fun watching Formula 1 racing on TV, when Michael Schumacher was dominating the sport. He had no competition, so it almost became boring and many motor racing fans lost interest. It was the same when the Australian cricket team was easily beating every Test nation, both on home turf and away.

It becomes far more interesting when there are two protagonists (as with Rangers and Celtic in Scottish football) but if there is only one dominating, there is hardly any interest at all.

When Tiger Woods was dominating professional golf, it wasn’t a case of who would win but rather who was going to come second. The bookies made him favourite to win in every tournament he entered. Outside the United States golf fans became tired of Woods continually winning. It’s true to say that his American fans were happy to see him winning often and, of course, his sponsors were too, but overall and globally it just wasn’t healthy for the sport.

Since Woods’s lay-off and his drop in form, there have been some unlikely winners of tournaments in the U.S. This year on the U.S.PGA tour we have had a different winner in each tournament and only last week Jason Duffner won for a second time.

Every tournament played so far this year has been wide open and it has been impossible to choose a winner. This has added interest and another dimension to tournaments for golf fans.

It’s pleasing to see Woods playing more often than he did in the past. He failed to make the cut at Quail Hollow in the Wells Fargo Championship three weeks ago and that was a real surprise. But make no mistake, Woods is more than capable of doing something spectacular and he is still an obvious threat to the rest of the golfers in the field. We all have that feeling that Woods will suddenly turn on the magic and shoot a couple of very low rounds to win easily. The rest of this year should reveal whether he is likely to reach his previous level of excellence and domination.

From the 19th hole

Those three old golfers, Sam, Harry and Fred, were sitting together after their weekly game of golf. These are some of the things they were overheard saying to each other.

Sam said: “They had a tea party at Old Trafford last week. They had to drink the tea from saucers because they’ve got no cups.”

Harry said: “I’ve got a friend who is a member of two golf clubs because he wants to become the intercourse champion.”

Fred said: “Marriage is similar to poker. You start off with a pair and you end up with a full house.”

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