It is safe to say the pro-am day at the Australian Masters is a little different from last year. Walking into the Victoria Golf Club was a walk in the park. Indeed, for a moment I felt like it was one with the atmosphere more like a family picnic for the claustrophobic. A world away from the mayhem of last year’s opening round by Tiger Woods.
Channel Nine had put their helicopters away and Tiger Woods was strolling the fairways chatting with Gary Ablett and a hundred or so people following with clear views of the former world number one.
It felt more like a day for the real golf fans. Golfers are mingling with fans at the practise fairway, Stuart Appleby is retelling some enthralling, amusing golf story to his amateur playing partners; and a kid, barely ten years old is walking around with his junior sized golf bag on a cart.
|Tiger Woods. Smiling at today’s press conference.|
It is a nice feeling to see some sanity restored to Australian golf. Even Tiger seems a little more grounded and more approachable. His usual ‘straight uphill putt’ press conferences was a little more enlightening today as he related his indecision to undertake his fourth swing change in his professional career.
Amateur golfers can also take something from his talk of practice sessions. He was reluctant to take on the swing change given all the hard work and practise sessions ahead of him but he was nostalgic recalling practise sessions with his Dad in the late evening. “Practising isn’t always hitting hundreds of balls. Sometimes it’s playing three or four holes”.
I can’t help but feel the majority of the media missed the most interesting interview though with Camilo Villegas chatting soon after. Arriving for a press conference after Tiger Woods is like Mumford and Sons playing after U2 but he thrilled nonetheless and ensured us the ‘Spider’ will emerge if there’s any seemingly straight putts this week.
Given the rolling nature of the Victoria Golf Club greens, we may not see much of the ‘Spider’ but but with sanity restored it’s going to be a great golf week for the fans. A walk in the park, if you will.
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