About the authors
- 1 Sep 06, 03:30 PM
This will be my second Ryder Cup as BBC Radio's Golf Correspondent.
All I can remember from the first was that the only time I relaxed in the entire week was playing table tennis of an evening with the rest of the Five Live team - and that commentator John Murray is the most negative ping ponger I've ever met.
If he's a blocker, I guess I'm now a blogger.
The Ryder Cup is all consuming - we seem to have talked about little else for the past year in golf. It's the magic of an individual sport being played in a team environment - a bit like the Davis Cup which was my favourite form of tennis when that was my reporting patch.
But that's all a bit in the dim and distant past now - this is my fourth year covering golf full time.
I love the game, play it whenever I can and struggle to maintain an eight handicap.
My wife also plays and our mantlepiece groans under the weight of the trophies she wins. Our five-year-old son Ollie is a wizz at crazy golf, signing off our recent holiday with two holes in one.
We're not as one dimensional as all this sounds - it's just that right now it's golf, golf, golf.
I think of myself as one of the luckiest people on earth.
Heck, I used to play golf for a living and now I get to travel the world and report on the best golfers on this planet. On top of that, I get paid to do it. OK, now pinch me to let me know it is real!!!!
On a serious note, as serious as I can be anyway, I commentate on golf for The PGA Tour Network in the United States, The Golf Channel for some selected European Tour events, and the the BBC "allows" me to be part of their broadcasting teams for golf's four major championships.
Hey it is a hard job, but someone has to do it.
The Ryder Cup is the biggest and most entertaining evert in ALL of golf, so let's have a good time with the build-up and the matches themselves.
I (with lots of help from Rob) look after the golf coverage on the BBC website, although I also sometimes update the baseball tables and speedway results on Ceefax so I'm something of a Renaissance-style all-rounder.
I wasn't really into golf as a nipper as none of my immediate family or friends were (although I do remember caddieing for my uncle once as a "present" from my mum on his birthday and then playing pitch and putt til the wee hours in The Greyhound in Chalfont St Peter) but the sport, like my hairline, has crept up on me to the point where I often talk about little else.
My first memory of the "Roider Cup" is Corey Pavin's ridiculous headgear at Kiawah Island. It spoilt my first night at university.
I can't, quite frankly, wait for this year's RC. I am looking forward to seeing how we handle being favourites for the first time since 1927, finding out from where Tom Lehman is getting his pizza fix, asking Ian Woosnam if he is wearing lipstick in those Glenmuir adverts and visiting a branch of famous Irish eaterie Abrakebabra.
One thing I won't be writing about is anybody "choking" as I very obviously choked when favourite in the St Helens fourth-year breaststroke final and have a lot of sympathy for that kind of thing ever since.
But bad clothes, dodgy haircuts, lack of etiquette and Americans are very much fair game.
I'm Matt's caddie on the BBC's golf website, and like all good golfing partnerships, when things are going well WE'RE a great team.
If there's a problem, HE'S the one who carved it out of bounds and then three-putted for a triple bogey.
The Ryder Cup actually sparked my career in journalism. I was temping in some mundane City job and glued to the Valderrama tournament on a cleverly concealed radio.
"Why am I here shuffling these numbers around in a grey office when there are people out there who get to work at these events?" I wondered.
After a stint back at college I was off, and now I work in a jade-coloured office covering all sorts of sports for the Beeb, but mainly golf and rugby.
I've covered three Opens and a host of other tournaments but the highlight was following Jack Nicklaus for his last nine holes when he bowed out of the game in the Open at St Andrews last year.
That many people showing so much affection for one man is pretty powerful stuff.
I've played golf for about 20 years, starting off poorly, becoming marginally less bad, and now struggling to maintain the 18 that I pretend I'm off.
The days of 54 holes followed by a quick round of "cross-country" in the dark are long gone.
As a kid I jumped onto Seve's moving golf cart to get his autograph in the 1985 Open at Royal St George's, won by Sandy Lyle, and I also went to the historic Ryder Cup win at The Belfry the same year.
The best bit about that - other than Europe winning for the first time in a thousand years - was a couple of blokes careering into the lake in front of the 18th as the crowd rushed up the fairway behind the last group.
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites