The three tourneys – the World Championship Cadilac at the Donald Trump Doral course, The Africa Open and the Puerto Rico Open – were won by Trevor Fisher Junior, Dustin Johnson and Alex Cejka respectively.
Steve Palmer did not pick any of these but he did recommend the young Argentine Emilio Grillo for the Puerto Rico Open and he was leading going into the final hole. This he managed to bogey creating a 5-way play off. I can hardly wait for Steve’s Sunday column bemoaning his luck. The only way of following the event was the USPGA app. I thought that Emilio, Steve and I were home and hosed as Grillo had birdied the par 5 in the previous round so all he needed was to steer his ball to par. A golfing betting pal commiserated with me but I had only the Pargiter tenner at each way so my loss was £100, or as I prefer it, my gain £36. My biggest regret was that I could not watch the exciting finale.
Dustin Johnson has certainly returned to form after his lay-off. His A game of massive hitting is back on song. As he overhauled JB Holmes, Adam Scott and Bubba Watson were in the top five to make for a classy conclusion. I see my ante post odds of Johnson have crashed from 33-1 to 22-1 for a major this year. The other feature of the tourney was Rory landing his ball in the drink and then throwing his club to join it. It’s unlike Rory, whose cheerful temperament normally upholds black moments: remember how he won a tourney just before his court battle. His fellow Irishman Pod Harrington returned to his winning ways the previous tournament. His career reflects the danger of altering your swing. This was his first victory since he did so.
I can only endorses Tom Hollingworth’s optimistic appreciation of UK sport when it comes to golf. Not so long ago Luke Donald was world number one and McDowell and Rory have 5 majors between them, a tremendous achievement for Northern Ireland and its population of 1.84 million, smaller than virtually every American state.