Ed's Letter

GREEN JACKETS, GOLD MEDALS AND MENDING FENCES

I have to admit that I can’t watch a full LIV Golf event, I may be too old school and I struggle with the format. Having said that, I am very comfortable with the traditional tournament formats, but with some of the world’s top players out and a bunch of the PGA guys out of form, watching the PGA Tour events has been really trying.

It is definitely time for the organisations to find a way to make things work – we may not all be happy with how we got to this point, but we need to take the positives from both set-ups and come up with a global framework that benefits not only the players but also the patrons and the paying viewers around the world.

Thank goodness for the LPGA Tour, the DP World Tour and the Sunshine Tour – the golf has been fantastic! I have been particularly impressed with the local coverage and have enjoyed getting to know a lot of rising stars and appreciating the crop of talent that is either making waves on the Tours or are emerging and will fast become significant flag-bearers for South African golf.

The final Sunshine Tour event of the season certainly delivered, with the former GolfRSA No 1 and National Squad graduate, Jonathan Broomhead, showing his quality and holding his nerve to take the Tour Championship title. And despite The Masters happening on the same weekend, it was extremely good golf to watch and frankly offered better viewing than the morning coverage of the Major.

Which brings us to The Masters and the Scottie Scheffler show. The simmering sub-plot of the LIV Golf participants was really a non-event, with Bryson offering a glimpse of an upset, and also showing a calmer side to his game that is refreshing, contrary to the potty mouth of Tyrell Hatton who actually livened up proceedings occasionally.

The bottom line was that as soon as Scheffler got a whiff of the finish line and his putter warmed up, no player could touch him. In the final round he quickly countered three bogeys with seven birdies on an extremely challenging Augusta National course, and stamped out any potential challengers. Not only did Scheffler display his all-round skill, he also clearly underlined his US-based, No 1 world ranking.

Stoic until the final putt fell, Scheffler was professionalism personified – a great champion. Interestingly, with The Masters being his third win of the season, I believe his caddie Ted Scott’s earnings would put him in the mid-50s on the players’ earnings table – now that’s quite something.

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Finally, I would like to touch on the Olympic Games happening this year. If there was an Ed’s Choice for one story in this issue, I would say this is it. I suspect we all love the Ryder Cup because the greatest players team up and compete for, well, for pride!

Olympic Games golf is played for a medal and for the honour of representing your country. If you succeed in standing on the top rung of the podium, you get the world watching you while your country’s national anthem plays and an extremely rare and hard-earned gold medal is placed around your neck.

At the last Summer Olympics, Tokyo 2020 (postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19), a total of 340 golf medals were
won across all disciplines. Consider the world population, your country’s population, the number of golfers
worldwide, how difficult it is to win your school’s fund-raising golf day (as a team!) and then consider what an
achievement it is to win an Olympic gold medal – priceless!

Enjoy the issue – another content feast! ­
See you on the fairways!

Image: THE MASTERS

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