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Diary of a sports couch potato

Yesterday was a fest of couch sports watching. I started with the ‘Made in Denmark’ – a European tour golf event which Bernd Wiesberger the Austrian slugger won.

The European tour is rather like the Championship in football, a secondary tournament which any of 50 can win. The Finn Kakkonen has won recently.

Next up was the Monaco Grand Prix. Switching on early I was unimpressed by the build-up coverage. I’m not a follower of modern F1 and hark back to the days of Brooklands, bottle green British racing colours and dashing, debonair drivers like Graham Hill who won this Grand Prix five times, and James Hunt.

The Sky coverage started with a Jet Ski race between B-list celebrities of little interest or appeal to me and then a tribute to Niki Lauda by Martin Brundle.

There was little analysis of strategy for a road race, in particular the tyre changing time decision, on a deeper level whether it is the machine or driver that determines success and why Ferrari make so many errors, the latest resulting in their Monagesque driver Charles Leclerc starting well down the grid.

This Grand Prix is a procession given the difficulty in overtaking. Nonetheless it was exciting as Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes started with medium tyres and it was close run thing as to whether they would last.

There was also a near crash in the 77th lap. However I was not converted to being a petrol-head and doubt if I will watch any more F1.

Then came the highlight of my sports-watching – Charlton v Sunderland – the first division play-off final.

Earlier in the day I had read an article about Sunderland by supporter Jonathan Wilson. Wilson is an acknowledged expert on football tactics.

This was an indulgent article extolling the virtues of supporting his home town club rather than a modern global brand. He painted a golden age of football support, rather ignoring hooliganism, racism and stadium safety – all of which severely blighted football watching in the seventies and eighties.

Charlton and their fans have suffered in the last 15 years and it was good to see them on the march. There was much reference to their previous play-off game v Sunderland which Charlton won on penalties: I was amazed that this was 21 years ago as I recall it so clearly.

Aside from Charlton, Leyton Orient, Luton and Sheffield United are recovering their reputation and status but sadly Bolton are in severe financial difficulties and that lovely club Ipswich are now in the old third division.

Finally I watched the Charles Schwab US PGA event in Fort Worth, won by Kevin Na.

I was interested in the performance of Jordan Spieth as he is another who is resurgent. However his driving is still wayward and his putting not so metronomic as it was a few years ago.

About Tom Hollingworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a former deputy sports editor of the Daily Express. For many years he worked in a sports agency, representing mainly football players and motor racing drivers. Tom holds a private pilot’s licence and flying is his principal recreation. More Posts