who has ever seen hit BBC sitcom Gavin and Stacey will be well aware of the
cheeky sense of humour enjoyed by the residents of South Wales.
it's only natural that the people of the principality should embrace the
impending arrival of the Ryder Cup with a saucy crack at the expense of one or
other of the players. And given that the October 1-3 match will see the world's
most famous sportsman in action, it's only natural that Tiger Woods should be
the first target for a little bit of pre-event fun.
where the Vale of Glamorgan brewery comes in. The brewery (based in Barry, home
of Gavin and Stacey) has produced a special edition ale to mark the arrival of
Tiger in the principality: the beer, whose logo features a scantily-clad blonde
holding a golf ball, goes by the name of 'Tiger Would'.
6,000 pints of the beer have been brewed and will be sold in pubs throughout
South Wales, including several in Newport - though it seems pretty unlikely
Celtic Manor will be buying in a keg for the week.
Tiger Woods saw it I would hope he would still have a sense of humour after all
he has been through," said brewer Dave Walbeoff.
Woods? Exhibiting a sense of humour about the sex scandal that ended his
marriage and robbed him of a year of his career? Looks like Dave has been
enjoying a bit too much of his own wares...
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might have to deal with all sorts of jibes at Celtic Manor - but given the year
he has had, even a half-decent performance will enable him to head home with
his head held high. And even if he loses every match, well... the ignominy of
going a year on the US PGA Tour without a victory will hit him far harder than flopping
in what many players see as a glorified exhibition match.
though Woods has nothing invested in success or failure in Newport, things are
very different for Colin Montgomerie.
year's Ryder Cup was set to be Monty's crowning glory. After he blew the
opportunity to bury his Major demons on the 72nd hole of the US Open at Winged
Foot in 2006, the idea of captaining a European team to Ryder Cup glory on home
soil is all that is left for the Scot. The failure of Captain Faldo last time
out only set the stage even more perfectly, since a victory would mean
regaining the trophy on home soil in front of a partisan crowd.
it all seems to be going horribly wrong. Paul Casey's excellent showing at the
weekend makes Monty's decision to pick Padraig Harrington over the Englishman
look increasingly idiotic - particularly since Casey has played more golf in
Europe this season than Harrington (despite 'contribution to the European Tour'
being cited as a factor in Harrington's selection).
in a suitcase full of personal life problems - including allegations of marital
infidelity - and Monty's glorious year risks going flatter than a steamrollered pancake dipped in fortnight-old cola.
genuinely hopes it doesn't turn out that way, if not for sheer humanity's sake
then for the simple fact that Monty almost single-handedly flew the flag for
European golf for the best part of a decade in the 1990s.
Tiger may be taunted by partisan fans in Wales; but Tiger has nothing to lose
and many more years left in which to re-ascend the world of golf.
for Monty, who has pinned everything on this career pinnacle, a bad week at
Celtic Manor would mean a sour end to a great career.
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Scorecard of the week: Martin Kaymer, whose
twin rounds of 66 at the tricky Hilversum course in Holland gave him the Dutch
Open title by four shots, and suggested that the US PGA Champion's victory at
Whistling Straits will launch him to ever greater achievements rather than give
him a bed of laurels on which to sit back.
Slap on the back of the
Johnson. Robert the Bruce would have
proud of the giant-hitting American after he bounced back from devastating
near-misses in two Majors this year (an implosion at the US Open, and a rules
gaffe at the US PGA) to win the BMW Championship and give himself a great
chance of lifting the $10 million prize that comes with the FedEx Cup.
Shot of the week: Johnson's gorgeous
wedge to the 17th at Cog Hill to set up victory was good, but Tiger's birdie on the 10th hole on Thursday from under a tree out of thick rough on the 10th was a glorious
reminder of just how much golf misses when the great man is not on song.