Well, I warned you!
Joking aside, over the year some funky, unusual and (God Forbid) even slightly interesting stories pop up around Golf. (eg How Golf caused Trump to meltdown at CNN last week).
So I thought I’d park them here. Most of these will be published stuff you may have missed.
Nice Guys Can Win
Read the simple bit Stormy weathers Rory
Or my ramble
The European Tour has a Ranking System. Only the Top 115 have an automatic RIGHT to play in any event they choose. Only they have a “Playing Card”
Each Year the top 60 come to Dubai to try and win the DP World Championship and a truck load of cash. Besides the Ranking, each player needs to play in a Minimum number of Tournaments in the season.
Players without a card have to rely on Invitations from Sponsors, so basically their ability to actually earn a living from the game is next to Zero - they cannot play enough times and the actual cost of playing in an event (Travel Accomodation Wages etc)
Each year there is a “Quaifying School” where players can win a Playing Card, then there is a Promotion System from “The Minor Leagues” such as the Challenge Tour.
In that 115 there are a bunch of players who are often described as Journeymen. Our own Saints Surpporting Richard Bland is one of them - REALLY nice guy. They earn enough to survive but never get to the BIG BUCKS (lthough Richard DID earn a damned fine wedge last year for being - well, a bit better than average, but like Saints at the moment - he wasn’t a WINNER.)
Those Journeymen are by and by really nice guys - some (like Paul Casey) are complete Cocks, but the fact is they are away from home for 30+ weeks a year and they need to be pleasant and sociable (and come to Barasti to watch Saintsplay) or they’d go nuts.
In October, a REALLY NICE GUY - Graeme Storm (Stormy) had been having a worse than average year. In fact he needed to win about 8,000 Euros at a tournament in Portugal in order to keep his Playing Card. because he is a REALLY NICE GUY - this got a lot of coverage. On the Final Day on the FInal Green, Graeme had a short putt to keep his card…
And missed. He was outside the top 115 by 100 Euros after a 50 week long season. Twitter gently ignited in sympathy, it even made Sky News. Graeme was out of work.
Two weeks later the Tour went to China for its FINAL SERIES sitting just outside the Top 10 was American Ryder Cup player Patrick Read - he had dual Tour status.
He,d planned his season and scheduled to play in a BIG MONEY event in China (The HSBC World Golf) that gave him enough European Tour events, then come to Dubai and earn a million or so more.
Until he injured himself and couldn’t play.
Sudden panic - he is one event short of keeping his card, the next event was the Turkish Open - Patrick signed up and - The US Government issued a Travel Advisory to US Citizens - and because Golfers Employ people under US Law they could not fly to Turkey. BOOM Patrick is a couple of million bucks lighter AND he is kicked out of the European Tour… And everybody moved up one place.
Meaning Stormy had kept his playing card by the skin of his teeth and the Coup Attempt in Turkey.
Fast forward through the Winter Break.
Stormy uses his Playing Card to have a vacation in South Africa and to play in the SA Open. This is a man who has not won a golf event for well over 9 years.
The Journeyman sets off
And only goes and wins the bloody thing. $160k in the bank, Playing Card Guaranteed for Next Year, place in the British Open and because he beat Rory in an incredibly tense Play Off, all the big Desret Swing Tournaments want him to come and play.
From a Broken Man worrying how he could pay the Mortgage in October to Hero.
It’s a great way to start the year