There are few sights better in sport let alone golf than to watch Rory at the top of his game. On Saturday he shot a 61 – much as I enjoyed and appreciated the round I had a lingering fear that the record of one of my golfing heroes Al “Mr 59 ” Geiberger would be equalled. There was no particular reason why I identified with Al Geiberger that I was aware of. As I liked Dave Eichelberger too it might be the name kindled a memory of my favourite uncle Gus Berger. Gus was the finest intellectual I ever knew- he understood more about Sigmund Freud than anyone alive – but like all great intellects prone to absent mindedness. When training as a doctor he sat an exam he had already passed.
I am rambling away from golf so I will come back to the fairway by mentioning that none of Steve Palmer’s picks finished in the top 5. The nearest was the talented young Argentine Emiliano Grillo who after starting his final round of the Spanish Open well and looking likely hit a few late bogeys to finish 6th. He is defiantly one to watch but under pressure his pitching lets him down. The tournament was won by James Morrison with David How ell having a renaissance aged 39 finishing second in testing windy conditions.
With my free betfair bet I backed another young American I like (Patrick Rodgers) at a tasty price for a top ten finish who brought home the bacon with a second though never threatening Rory. Rory is developing that fourth day aura of invincibility that Tiger had in his burgundy red polo shirt. There was an interesting radio programme on choking by Matthew Syed who did that in the Sydney Olympiad in his sport table tennis. He referred to Colin Montgomerie – a perennial second – fluffing a simple seven iron which would have won him the US Open at Winged Foot. It’s the brain apparently non functioning with the pressure. Rory’s game remains intact under pressure. He is 26 now and in that vintage of Ricky Fowler and Jason Day, neither of whom have won a major though Fowler won the Players at Sawgrass last week. The difficulty for these guys is that another generation is coming through led by Jordan Spirth and including Brooks Koepka, Peter Uhlein, Justin Thomas, Danny Berger and Rodgers who have the makings of superb champions.