Rumour and counter rumour
- 17 Sep 06, 10:55 AM
WENTWORTH - You know something big is just around the corner with a single glance from my radio booth to the rest of the media centre here.
There are a few relatively unfamiliar faces. All the usual golf correspondents are on duty but they're supplemented by the feature writers - particularly from the Sunday papers. They've been here preparing their Ryder Cup preview stories.
So you need ears like those of Monty just to stay in touch with where the news agenda is going.
This week there were a couple of rumours that made me think we were on to significant stories only to be swiftly countered.
First, someone spotted a website story that suggested Davis Love and Corey Pavin were on standby for the American team because Scott Verplank was nursing an injury.
Further examination showed that captain Tom Lehman is happy Verplank will have recovered from his rib problem in time - indeed he'd just shot a 70 in the first round of the 84 Lumber Classic on the PGA Tour.
So that was one story cul de sac, then came another as I got a call stating categorically that the whereabouts were known of Tiger Woods after his early departure from the HSBC World Matchplay.
"He and Jim Furyk have gone to the K Club", the caller stated. Five minutes later the same man phoned back. "Sorry that's not actually true, my source has just been back on to me." Another dead end.
Someone else - who should know about these things - later suggested that Woods had probably gone to The Grove, home of the American Express Championship which is staged the week after the Ryder Cup.
There maybe something in this, but I've been too busy running around the West Course to confirm this.
Apparently his private jet heads back to Orlando when Woods isn't using it, so he probably hasn't taken the chance to go and visit his Swedish in-laws. I can't exactly see Woods taking his place in economy on the Stockholm shuttle!
(Woods later turned up at Stamford Bridge for the Chelsea-Liverpool match)
It was interesting spending the afternoon with former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher on Five Live Sports Extra on Saturday.
We watched the Casey/Montgomerie semi-final. Gallacher was particularly impressed with Monty's reaction at the end. He instantly pointed out how valuable the man who'd just beaten him will be at the K Club and that the success of the Europeans this week is bad news for the US.
"That's Monty being the leader again," Bernard said. "We had it in the past with Faldo and Seve. Woosie can lead in the locker room, but Monty will be a leader on the course."
Bernard will be part of our commentary team on Five Live at the K Club.
He's not flying out until later in the week. "Bad luck," he said when I told him I was heading to the airport straight from Wentworth.
I'm not so sure. It's going to be a fantastic week - although I can't wait for the action to start and the chat and rumour to cease. I bet Woosie - who faces a week of daily press conferences - feels exactly the same.
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