View From The Fairway - New Seve Film is Magnificent
Golfshake's Derek Clements shares his commentary on the latest headlines and hot topics in golf.
IF YOU have access to Rakuten TV do yourself a favour and check out Seve: Artist, Fighter, Legend, which is a magnificent and moving film that charts the life and times of the one and only Seve Ballesteros. With the help of his former wife Carmen, his children and brother Manuel, it follows his successes at The Masters and Open Championship and reveals that he spent his entire professional career battling chronic back pain. It also looks at his special relationship with the Ryder Cup, in particular his bitter rivalry with Paul Azinger. Ballesteros was the most charismatic golfer I have ever seen but this film reveals that he hated the adulation he received. He was essentially a shy man who enjoyed his own company. He also suffered from depression after being bullied by his three older brothers during his formative years. Seve was also obsessed with money, keeping meticulous records of every penny he spent. This is hardly surprising, given that he grew up in abject poverty. Seve: Artist, Fighter, Legend will probably make you cry. It is a measure of the esteem in which he was held that Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Gary Player were all moved to tears when talking about him. It is a painful reminder that this tortured genius was taken away from us far too soon.
AM I the only one who is slightly cynical about the news that Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka are to renew their rivalry when they go head to head in the latest instalment of The Match in Las Vegas? The two major winners, currently ranked seventh and ninth in the world, will face off in a 12-hole contest at Wynn Golf Course on Friday, November 26. An on-going feud between the pair has resulted in disagreements over the past two years, with Koepka previously calling out DeChambeau for slow play and DeChambeau making fun of Koepka's physique. They set aside their differences to help Team USA to a record-breaking 19-9 victory at the Ryder Cup last month, even sharing a hug in front of the media at the winner's press conference, while DeChambeau hinted ahead of the contest that some match between the pair could happen. "I think there may be something fun coming up here moving forward, but won't speak too much more on that," DeChambeau said ahead of the Ryder Cup, although Koepka later told the media he had "no idea" what the 2020 US Open winner was talking about. There will, of course, be huge interest in this event but it does make me wonder whether the entire feud between the pair has been nothing more than an elaborate marketing stunt. On the positive side, The Match has raised nearly $30million in support of various charities and initiatives since its launch in 2018, with the latest edition again offering unprecedented access and players having open mics throughout.
THE time has surely come for a rethink on what players need to do to retain their European Tour membership. Hats off to Jon Rahm for travelling back to Spain to take part in the Iberian Swing. But did you know that the likes of Rory McIlroy only needs to play in four events to keep his card in Europe? And the Ryder Cup counts as one of those. Having played in Abu Dhabi, Ireland and Scotland in 2021, the Northern Irishman has already fulfilled his requirements for the year. This was the tour that provided McIlroy with his grounding, opening the way for him to ply his trade on the PGA Tour. I am not having a go at McIlroy, but I do believe the time has come to overhaul the system. I accept that the pandemic has created special challenges this year when it comes to TransAtlantic travel but it hasn’t stopped the likes of Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Shane Lowry and Matthew Fitzpatrick spending much of 2021 on the other side of the Atlantic.
THE PGA and Reckitt’s Dettol Pro Solutions have announced a new partnership to help enhance hygiene standards for the PGA's 6,500 members in Great Britain and Ireland and their 3,000 corresponding clubs amid eased Covid-19 restrictions. The alliance will give PGA members exclusive offers on Dettol hygiene products and hand sanitiser dispensers, as well as access to cleaning protocols to help golfers feel more confident about hygiene. Golf has, of course, seen a huge surge in popularity in the past year, putting a special emphasis on hygiene standards as the pandemic continues to dominate our lives. David Adams, Head of Commercial Partnerships at The PGA, said: “The health and well-being of PGA Members and the wider golfing community is our biggest priority. To bring onboard a partner like Dettol helps the PGA give additional value to our membership through exclusive rates on hygiene products, professional co-branded sanitiser dispenser units and up to date cleaning protocols. It’s clear that we will all be living with the risk related to diverse bacteria and viruses for the foreseeable future and so the ongoing expertise and support that Dettol will be providing to our members and their clubs will help build trust with golfers returning to the game and those trying golf for the first time.”
THE European Tour has announced that there will be a Dubai double-header to end their Race to Dubai season for the second year running. The AVIV Dubai Championship will be played on the Fire Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 11-14, a week before the season reaches its traditional climax at the DP World Tour Championship. The $1.5m event, introduced in 2020 as the Golf in Dubai Championship, replaces the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa - cancelled for a second successive year due to the pandemic.
ON THE other side of the coin, the LPGA Tour announced the cancellation of another event due to travel restrictions. The TOTO Japan Classic, which was supposed to be played Nov. 4-7 at Seta Golf Course in Shiga Prefecture, has been scrapped. The event was not played in 2020 because of the pandemic. The Buick LPGA Shanghai will also not be played in October, marking the second consecutive year that event has been cancelled.
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