Larry Canning: With the “new normal” Masters out of the way it’s time for a classic clash at Kiawah Island

Larry CanningBy Larry Canning.

Well, if that’s the “new normal” until we get to the “next new normal” Golf Major, then I reckon it was a ripper! The Masters with some people definitely looked better than no people.

Having said that I’m still glad Tiger won his 15th Grand Slam with a full quota of Patrons. Imagine how weird it would have looked watching the big guy strolling up the 18th with only his caddy playing partner and his loved ones watching. (In Tigers case I wonder what actually constitutes loved ones anyway?)

Kiawah Island Ocean Course

Hideki Matsuyama certainly has a rather large collection of loves ones now. I’d estimate around 125 million. Hideki was idolised in Japan even before he became the first Japanese Player to win a Major but now that will take “orrr…Konton!” (Mayhem), to a level never seen before.

Like many first time major winners you’d have to be a little concerned if Hideki can maintain some kind of level headedness and separate himself from all the Chaos? If he wants to win more majors, and he’s clearly good enough, Matsuyama might have to buy himself an island which does not appear on any maps and build a “Thunderbirds” type high tech mansion where the pool retracts to expose a learjet and a runway with fake palm trees which lie down as the music plays … dut da da da.

I suppose the good news for the Japanese Champion is Covid is still an issue which might keep the media at bay plus he plays most of his golf in America.

Well that’s the Masters tucked away, what’s next? Aaah yes the re-scheduled PGA Championship. I don’t know about you but I like the four majors in monthly succession. I think its more about what suits the Americans and their football season but I guess that’s what happens when you have three of the four “World’ Grand Slam Golf tournaments all in the same country.

I’m not sure the European PGA Tour was all that excited when they were told of the change. But then again the poor cousin of their US counterparts have accepted a “Strategic Alliance” offered by the US PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan last year. European Tour CEO, Keith Pelley vigorously denied this was the first step in amalgamating both Tours and cited he had just turned down a “very compelling offer” from the Saudi backed Premier Golf League. You’d like to think that offer was actually worth all the gnarly political criticism it would have been slugged with from Human Rights Activists and the potential loss of control by the players themselves but….??     

Sorry readers, I just realised I’m boring even myself with this stuff.

The Kiawah Island Ocean Course awaits the 2021 PGA Championship

The PGA is being played on the windswept beachside course aptly named “The Ocean Course” at Kiawah Island South Carolina. I just took a make believe flight over the course and it looks nothing short of spectacular!

This course has some history with battles as well. None less than Seve Ballesteros and Paul Azinger in the 1991 Ryder Cup. It has been referred to as the most hateful Ryder Cup of all time with. The War by the Shore began even before the first ball was when Zinger and his partner for the Foursomes Corey Pavin rocked up to the 1st tee wearing US Military Caps. It was right after the US had withdrawn their troops from the Gulf War which the Europeans also took part in.

Then during the Friday Foursomes, Olazabal and Seve accused Zing and Pavin of changing their golf ball to suit whoever was hitting off the tee.

It was flat out nasty but certainly worth watching as the two teams locked horns on pretty much everything for the week. The Americans won when poor old Bernard Langer missed a 6 footer on the last green on Sunday which as you can imagine led to a frenzy of American victory celebrations.

The upcoming PGA may not have any fist fights on the beaches at Kiawah Island but if it comes down to a Sunday battle between a player from Europe and an American I for one will be on the edge of my lounge.

Matt Wallace versus Brooks Keopka… Bring it on!!!  

    

       

 

 

 

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