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When it comes to the sporting calendar I’m a bit of a traditionalist and do not appreciate any mucking about with it. Thus the decision to bring forward the USPGA to accommodate the Olympics did not sit well with me. It produced an unlikely winner in Jimmy Walker who tends to start the season well and then fade. No one predicted him and none of my 5 picks – McIlroy, JB Holmes, Aaron Baddeley, Steve Stricker  and PHil Mickelson – featured. No visit to the garden centre this week It did produce an exciting final nine when Jason Day chased down  Jimmy Walker but the Texan held him off.

The form of McIlroy who did not make the cut is one of several worries for captain Darren Clarke. He has 5 rookies in the automatic selections – Danny Willett, Cabrera-Bello, Chris Wood, Andy  Sullivan and Matt Fitzgerald. The 19 year old Fitzgerald is out of form and it must have been hoped that Martin Kaymer would have a better USPGA to overhaul him. Kaymer will surely be a wild card pick for Clarke but will he go for experience (with Jamie Donaldson and Lee Westwood) or form in the shape of Shane Lowry or Soren Kjeldsen? Unlucky losers out too like Francesco Molinari, GraemeMcDowell, Victor Dubuisson, Tom Pieters and Nic Colsaerts. Much will depend on the four stalwarts of UK & Europe – Rory, Justin Rose, Henrok Stensen and Sergio Garcia. The US team captained by Davis Love has 8 automatics featuring the usual suspects of Dustin and Zack Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Speith, Bubba Watson and Brandt Snedeker and only one rookie JB Holmes. Ricky Fowler and Patrick Reed will surely be two of his wild cards. Because of home advantage in Wiscinsin and experience I reckon it’s advantage USA but golf – as I know the hard way from the victory of Walker and placing of the out of form Robert Streb – shows it’s hard to predict.

I cannot get too enthused about golf as an Olympic sport. Apparently we have a good chance of gold in the female rugby sevens and no doubt this will take prominence over the Test, football and golf in the radio 5 coverage. Steel yourself for a shrill announcement of breathless anticipation that we interrupt Chelsea v Manchester City to go to Rio for the semi final of UK v New Zealand rugby sevens.

About John Pargiter

John Pargiter’s biggest claim to fame is his first-ever work experience job, as ‘legs’ (or runner) for Henry Longhurst. For many years he worked in insurance at Lloyds. After retiring he has returned to his favourite sport of golf and is a keen recreational sailor and grandparent. More Posts