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Posts from the ‘Golf’ Category

John Daly on island time

John Daly was the draw this week at the PGA Butterfield Bermuda Championship at the serene Port Royal Golf Club.

At 56 Daly makes me look like George Dobson, and although he was only here on an exemption, the legendary American easily received the loudest roars from the crowd on both Thursday and Friday before missing the cut by miles.

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Golf, rain and cup cakes

We’ve had the Bermuda PGA FedEx Cup here this weekend, golf for the uninitiated, which ended this afternoon at the Port Royal Golf Club, a beautiful setting out on the west end of the island.

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Live sport

I felt very fortunate this week as the UK and large chunks of Europe go back into lockdown I was lucky enough to be outside watching live professional sport.

The Bermuda PGA Championship has been taking place this week at Port Royal Golf Course and ends today in what will be an exciting finish.

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My 2019 Top Five Bermuda Things

Back on my doorstep then for my next 2019 Top Five. No Michelin stars, no movie premieres, no historical monuments, but local small scale stuff and fun things that peaked my interest.

To continue my January look back at my 2019, these are My Top Five Favourite Bermuda Things

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Get in the hole

Off to watch a bit golf today. Despite being in Bermuda for 11 years, and there being a higher concentration of golf courses here than anywhere else in the world I have yet to be bitten by the golf bug for all kinds of reasons.

Yet today just around the corner from my house the island has some PGA golf to watch as Bermuda gets an official PGA tournament taking place at the Port Royal Golf Course.

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Like many of you I sat at home and watched the little known Sheffield boy Danny Willet win The Masters last night with a confounded cheeky smile on his face. His own personal week was one that are dreamt not made. Meanwhile Jordan Spieth’s baby face told a very different story. Spieth is just 22 and will be back, but the young American will have to fend off a whole host of exciting young British golfers.

For me watching on TV last night made it all the more dramatic as I was at Augusta 24 hours previously. Watching the cameras pan around that historic course made it so much more for me after walking around it the day before.

The Masters should be on every sports fans bucket list and I was privileged to be able to attend on Saturday. Mind you, it is long old drive from Atlanta, almost 3 hours each way and Augusta itself is situated east of Atlanta nestled on the border of golf-course laden South Carolina, touched by southern charm and blessed with history.
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Queens Park Rangers 2 Charlton Athletic 1

A last minute winner for QPR is almost the final nail in the coffin as we face the distress of relegation in mid-April as soon as next Saturday. We have been relying on other teams slipping up for a long while now but it is simply not happening and the odd win was never going to cut it. We needed 7 points from the last week, but instead got 4 and the gap is now 11 points with our awful goal difference. The Championship relegation places will embarrassingly be resolved quickly without any fuss or contention.

The emptiness of relegation has been felt for a long, long while. The bitterness, the ugliness, the anger of how completely unnecessary it all was. Meire told us in the summer that we are to accept how her and Duchatelet run the club and to judge them over this season. Well, thanks for nothing.
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After a crazy work end of the first quarter, this week with the family I escaped to Florida and the unusually hip and arty city of Sarasota (photo), situated on the gulf coast just south of Tampa and St Petersburg. There are more museums, galleries and top rated restaurants than anywhere else in Florida and this part of the United States is also renowned for its tennis. World class academies attract the best talent and as such we watched a couple of excellent women’s finals on Sunday at the Wilde Lexus USTA finals in Osprey. 60th world ranked Madison Brengle won the singles.

The family go home today but I am travelling to Atlanta this afternoon and then after a night in Buckhead, 8 of us drive out to Augusta, the home of the iconic Masters. I am fortunate to be an invited guest for Saturday’s round and we stay overnight in our house close to the course no doubt wind swept and thirsty before an early return to Atlanta, which is a good couple of hours from Augusta, before flying home to Bermuda.

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Beyond sport

The Harlequins Rugby Club have been in Bermuda this week to play the Bermuda Barbarians and Friday night I was invited to the ‘gala dinner’ which is a fund raiser for the Beyond Rugby charity, a very worthy cause that in Bermuda offers the opportunity and encouragement for kids to turn away from gang crime and instead put all of their energies into competitive sport.

The dinner was attended by around 400 people and what with tickets, prizes and numerous auctions, which of course in a maze of alcohol reach silly portions – I give you a Juan Mata signed Man U shirt sold for $2,500 – the evening’s events would have raised an awful lot of money.
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Kaymer wins PGA Grand Slam play-off

The last ever Bermuda hosted PGA Grand Slam – the end of season money spinner for the winners of the four majors – has taken a bit of a back seat here, what with the impending Hurricane Gonzalo, on which I’ll write more later, but I did manage to get to Port Royal today to see Martin Kaymer collect the winnings after seeing off Bubba Watson in a one-hole play-off.

The PGA Grand Slam is a great tournament, four of the world’s best players play two rounds of golf in beautiful and relaxed surroundings to crowds both so polite and sparse that you can touch and chat to the players at everyone of it’s 36 holes played over two days.
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Sun shines on the righteous

We lucked out massively yesterday at the Merion Golf Club. The forecasters were predicting all kinds of doomsday scenarios – thunder, lightning, tornadoes, flash flooding, 75 mph winds – neither of which happened in the leafy Philadelphia suburb of Haverford, named incidentally from the Welsh town of Haverfordwest after this little corner of Pennsylvania was founded by the Welsh Quakers in 1681.
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US Open Golf

This afternoon I fly to Philadelphia for work-related things tonight and part of tomorrow but the principal reason I will be in the Commonwealth of Philadelphia is for the start of the U.S. Open at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, about 8 miles west of the city.
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2012 Top 5 Sporting Moments

Putting the mighty Addicks to one side for the moment, other than the League One title winners, 2012 was a sensational year for sport. There were many screaming at the telly, jumping up and down moments but here were my Top 5 Favourite Sporting Moments of 2012:
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3rd time lucky

Last minute replacement Padraig Hamilton collected the $600,000 winners prize after today’s final round of the PGA Grand Slam in Bermuda. In front of I would say 2,500 to 3,000 spectators each bathed in sunshine, the Irishman after a 5 under-par overnight, birdied the 11th, 12th and 13th of his 2nd round and despite a bogey on the last ended up on 9 under and beat nearest rival Webb Simpson by a shot.

Tied in 3rd place were Bubba Watson and last year’s victor Keegan Bradley on 3 under. Harrington, despite only standing in for the injured Ernie Els just this weekend, was a popular winner after twice being a previous runner-up in 2007 and 2008, both times losing in a play-off.
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Match play

Open champion Ernie Els joins US Open champion Webb Simpson and Masters winner Bubba Watson in this week’s PGA Grand Slam of Golf. The 4th player is last year’s champion Keegan Bradley, who was invited back to Bermuda after PGA winner Rory McIlroy pulled out of the tournament citing that he had already made enough dough this year and needed a rest.

It is a shame McIroy is not here as he would have encouraged an army of Irish tourists like last year when both he and Darren Clarke played and very much enjoyed the local hospitality, especially Clarke!
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