All entries in this category: Rob Hodgetts
- 24 Sep 06, 08:53 PM
K CLUB – Admittedly, they had mostly had a few drinks, and Ian Woosnam more than made up for those who hadn’t.
But the European Ryder Cup team demonstrated in their final press conference the togetherness and camaraderie that swept them to victory.
And they proved the perfect finale to the Dublin comedy festival. In fact they stole the show.
Forget Little Britain, Ross Noble and the rest who played the capital this week, these guys do gags AND golf.
- 24 Sep 06, 05:42 PM
K CLUB - Sensational scenes from the clubhouse balcony as Ian Woosnam's band of brothers showered themselves in champagne.
The sight of Darren Clarke downing a pint and then saluting his public will live in the memory and most likely feature on every front page tomorrow.
No-one drank more than captain Ian Woosnam, who unfortunately jettisoned some bubbly back out of his nostrils before following Clarke in draining a glass of the black stuff.
Not being privy to the inner circle of the team, we'll never get to hear some of the best lines from the party. (And if we were there, I doubt we'd remember them)
So instead we'll have to make do with the official stuff. Still, sums it all up nicely.
- 24 Sep 06, 12:34 PM
K CLUB - Rain alternating between heavy and torrential is not enough to douse the smouldering fires inside every single spectator at the K Club on Sunday.
The first tee grandstand is already packed and they huddle five deep behind the practice ground, waiting, hoping, dreaming. Soaking.
It’s 1020 BST, less than an hour to go before the first singles match tees off and there’s not a player in sight. Not on the range, the chipping area or the putting green.
- 23 Sep 06, 07:46 PM
K CLUB – Anyone not feeling just a tad revved up for Sunday’s singles?
YOU BET WE ARE. And that’s meant to include both sets of supporters.
Sure, Europe are in the hot seat, but we’ve been here before, think Brookline 1999, and the Americans can halve the lead very quickly. And then anything can happen. Game on.
And, as usual, there was some great chat behind the scenes. Here’s the quotes of the day:
- 23 Sep 06, 12:21 PM
K CLUB – Absorbing, illuminating, tense, amusing. And a massive privilege. Not many Saturday mornings come close to leaning against a tree just yards from the action as four Ryder Cup matches unfold in front of you.
The tree in question, an oak, stands behind the par-three 8th hole in one of the most picturesque corners of the K Club beside the River Liffey.
It’s 0930, the grandstand is full and an expectant crowd stands patiently in broken sunshine waiting for the fourballs.
- 23 Sep 06, 08:15 AM
K CLUB – Morning! Day two has dawned dark and broody but the course is buzzing with expectation.
Europe lead 5-3 and could, theoretically, surge to within one point of retaining the Ryder Cup today. No-one in their right mind expects that to happen of course.
Except, that is, for my esteemed colleague here Matt, who confidently predicted over breakfast, “If we win this session, it’s all over”.
Ian Woosnam, looking more chav than captain with his baseball cap perched on the back of his head, said: “I’ll be happy with 2-2 this morning.”
- 22 Sep 06, 01:27 PM
K CLUB – How can you not be gripped by this?
The morning’s fourballs have epitomised what the Ryder Cup is all about. Two matches were seemingly home and hosed, three up with holes running out.
But four men, two from each team, found the inspiration to mount a fightback against overwhelming odds.
Was it sensational golf? No, but who cares. It was drama, and that's what we like.
- 21 Sep 06, 05:32 PM
K Club - Mind coach Jamil Qureshi popped in to see the blog this afternoon and spent some time answering some of your questions.
Jamil is a top sports psychologist, and he is at the K Club this week to help out the European team.
His role is to help captain Ian Woosnam and his assistants get their points across effectively in speeches and meetings, and to support the players with relaxation and stress-busting techniques, using a mixture of hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming.
But he is also a professional magician and often gets roped into the performing the odd trick, such as earlier this week when he got the players to draw Colin Montgomerie and then accurately identified who had drawn which picture.
"That was just a bit of fun," Jamil said. "I'm not really here to entertain, I was bullied into it more than anything else. But when people hear you also do magic for a living you're always going to hear, 'Show us a trick'."
- 21 Sep 06, 04:31 PM
K Club – Ryder Cup captains Ian Woosnam and Tom Lehman have laid their opening cards on the table. And what hands.
The debate has less than 24 hours to run before we find out what beats what.
Both skippers have gone for arguably their trump cards first up.
Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk against Padraig Harrington and Colin Montgomerie is a mouth-watering clash to kick off the 36th Ryder Cup at the K Club.
- 21 Sep 06, 01:09 PM
K CLUB - Hot news, There's a special treat in store for us all later today.
Mind magician, conjurer and all-around psychic supremo Jamil Qureshi will be joining us LIVE on the blog about 1630 this afternoon.
Jamil, the mental coach for a host of top stars and a key cog in the European camp this week, will be answering your questions, so fire them in now, using the usual comment form below.
Remember, this is the man who earlier this week asked the Europeans each to draw a picture of Colin Montgomerie, and then correctly stated who had drawn what.
So get your questions and we'll chat to Jamil later on. (Mind you, if he's any good he'll already know what you're going to ask him!)
- 21 Sep 06, 11:48 AM
K CLUB – Nine more practice holes, a two-hour opening ceremony, a night’s kip and then it all begins. Hooray.
All this speculating, postulating, ruminating and mischief-making is all very well.
But when the first shots are hit and the scoreboard begins to tick, the electricity already running through the K Club will surge off the scale. And that’s nothing to do with Friday’s forecast thunderstorms.
Before then, though, there’s just time to squeeze in a bit more cogitating on the outcome.
- 20 Sep 06, 05:14 PM
K CLUB - “Park-and-ride-gate”, as virtually no-one here is calling it, has taken another twist.
As well as fighting the fires of this morning’s debacle at the North car park, where spectators had to queue for hours in the rain to board a bus, Ryder Cup organisers have had a bigger Irish stew on their plate.
- 20 Sep 06, 12:06 PM
K CLUB - Inefficient, badly planned and poorly run - the Ryder Cup experience will be turning sour for many people today as the flaws in the public transport system hit home.
Thousands of paying spectators have been left high and not very dry as the weather-hit opening of the K Club caused interminable queues in the public car parks.
Anyone pitching up after 10am might as well have gone home as the line edged forward at the pace of a snail with a heavy head after a night on the dark stuff.
- 19 Sep 06, 01:06 PM
K CLUB - Tiger Woods and Darren Clarke embraced on the K Club practice ground as the pair met for the first time since Clarke's wife Heather died of cancer last month.
Woods, the only player hitting balls, walked from the left edge of the picturesque range to greet the grinning Northern Irishman, who was approaching from the right.
The pair, long-time friends, shook hands and immediately hugged, holding the clinch for a few seconds.
The heart-felt exchange was greeted by rapturous applause from the sizeable crowd.
- 19 Sep 06, 11:31 AM
K CLUB - I love the smell of a golf course in the morning.
Especially a lush green one with mature trees, a magnificent clubhouse and the River Liffey running through it.
First impressions are that the K Club is a pretty sumptuous venue, the sort of place to bunt it round with a couple of friends on a quiet midweek summer's day.
Well, it is Tuesday. And it is sunny.
- 14 Sep 06, 02:04 PM
WENTWORTH - Hunting for some Ryder Cup clues at the World Match Play at Wentworth I happened upon Denis Pugh, coach of European talisman Colin Montgomerie.
So I asked him how Monty was and what he was expecting at the K Club. And nice man that Denis is, he told me.
To find out his answers, read on. But suffice to say, I don't think there is any danger Monty - and the rest of the European team for that matter - won't be busting a gut at the K Club next week.
- 14 Sep 06, 10:32 AM
WENTWORTH - Like a famous journalist once said about far more weighty matters than golf, I've counted them all out and now I'm going to wait roughly 36 holes each to count them all back in.
The World Match Play got under way at 0736 BST at a dank and soggy Wentworth this morning with defending champion Michael Campbell against England's Simon Kahn.
It certainly promises to be a fascinating event, with a pretty stellar line-up compared to some recent years.
Six of the world's top 10 are here, including that man Tiger Woods for the first time since he lost in the final to close pal Mark O'Meara in 1998.
- 12 Sep 06, 06:09 PM
LONDON - Tiger Woods amuses me. He’s desperate to have us believe he has transformed from ultimate solo sportsman to the beating heart of the US Ryder Cup team.
Woods says he is keen to finally take on a leadership role at the K Club.
But he’s been the best player in the world for nigh on a thousand years, and yet only now does he decide to come in from the cold and embrace the team ethic of the competition.
- 6 Sep 06, 01:00 PM
LONDON - Phew. I’m glad the Thomas Bjorn affair’s over. Now we can get back to talking about the golf.
But that brings us to another worrying issue - if you’re a European fan that is. Not that I’m at all biased, you understand.
And that issue is Tiger Woods.
The world number one has won his last five tournaments in a row and added two more majors this year.
- 4 Sep 06, 06:41 PM
LONDON - Oh dear. Ian Woosnam has only read out the names of two players and he seems to have sparked off massive negativity among European Ryder Cup fans.
Everyone's going to have their own views on who should/should not make the side, and that's fair enough, but following up Iain Carter's thoughts from Munich, many of you seem worried by the captain's conduct so far.
He doesn't come across particularly media savvy, as seen last week when he accidentally let slip that Darren Clarke was a distinct wildcard possibility.
And his style of man-management may appear less-than slick, such as informing Thomas Bjorn in the hotel bar he had missed out.
- 1 Sep 06, 04:43 PM
LONDON - They say that you either love golf or hate it. But I reckon the detractors are really just people who haven’t realised they love it yet.
I do, and I’ve been stuck on the same 18 handicap for 20 years. I’ve had to endure watching the mates I grew up with surge into single figures and boast of backspin. I’m still scuffing woods, chunking irons and yipping with my chipping.
But being rubbish doesn’t stop me appreciating the nuances of the game. My current favourite topic of golf-related bar chat is that the sport is not about hitting a ball into a hole.
- 1 Sep 06, 10:08 AM
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.
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