AS HE flung his arms aloft and lifted his eyes to the heavens, I couldn’t help but feel great happiness for Lee Westwood at becoming the top golfer in Europe.
Forget the money, not easy when it runs into millions of pounds, Lee has only ever been interested in winning titles and becoming the best at his chosen trade.
He’s a winner which might seem a strange thing to say after so many runners-up spots over the last couple of years, but Lee has never lost faith in his ability, even when he was going through a period of self doubt and fine tuning of his game.
When he first came on tour Worksop’s finest described himself as ‘a bit of a plodder’.
Goodness me, he could only have been thinking of the way he planted his feet on the fairways, certainly not his golf which has always had a majestic quality to it.
Let's pay credit too to his caddie and confidante Billy Foster from Bingley.
Believe it or not caddies can make or break players.
Some golfers are not great decision makers, their caddies often make decisions for them, they assess their moods, and become more important in a relationship than even a marital partner.
Billy was Sevvy Ballesteros’ right arm for a long time, he’s cajoled and coaxed the likes of Darren Clarke, not easy believe me, now he’s been instrumental in helping Lee to the top of the rankings.
A marriage made in heaven? Maybe. Let’s hope their next milestone is a victory in the Ryder Cup.
IT’S November 25 and here I am in Gaberone.
Where the hell is Gaberone I hear you asking?
No, I’d never heard of it either until I arrived here on Sunday, and the answer is Botswana, formerly Beshuanaland until independence in 1966 – two months after England won the World Cup.
The first surprise was to find Thierry Henry handling my check-in at the delightful Gaberone Sun Hotel.
No, seriously either the guy has a doppleganger, or the man who is handling everything at the moment has defected to southern Africa to get away from his sudden notoriety.
I’ve never seen such a dead ringer for someone else and as he handed me (there we go again) the keys to (V)room (V)room 130 I couldn’t help but ask him if anybody else had commented on his similarity in appearance to the French basketball player.
"Oui, oui and now I cannot even go to my favourite Irish bar any more. Zay will kill me," he retorted thrusting out a huge bottom lip.
I had some sympathy for our look-alike receptionist even though he thought I looked like Sir Alex Ferguson. Surely not!
Ireland won’t be going to the World Cup and Henry’s actions, which roughly translated to cheating, have been the subject of much discussion at the FIFA Broadcast Academy which has brought me to Botswana.
The most popular train of thought is that demands for technology have escalated as a result of the incident, but interestingly three budding commentators out of five here thought otherwise.
One was an Arsenal fan, so in his eyes Henry is an untouchable God, as infallible as the Pope, another said what will be will be, it should be forgotten as quickly as a disputed penalty or a debatable red card, and the third trainee was categorically against any technology on the grounds that it would leave nothing to argue about over a pint in the pub.
Before you say anything yes they do drink pints here and the beer ain’t bad.
Indeed some of the teams coming to South Africa next summer could even be housed in Botswana, which has a border with that country not too far from Rustenburg (one of the 10) venues.
In common with every African country the people just love football and I’m off to watch Gaberone United play in the Premier League today. (Wed).
If a certain French striker sets up the winning goal I’ll know for sure the receptionist’s real name isn’t Claude.
Tottenham 9 Wigan 1. Did I hear that right?
It was the sort of result that gets you re-tuning your set or buying a new deaf aid.
Scores like that don’t just happen any more. But apparently it was right and Jermaine Defoe really did score five.
In days of yore it was not uncommon for a team to rattle up cricket scores.
Spurs once got 13 against Crewe Alexandra and the all-time record in British football is Arbroath 36 Bon Accord 0. I’d loved to have commentated on that one.
Yet the silly thing is 9-1 is only really as good as 1-0. Wigan will probably win their next match by that margin and Spurs could lose next time out.
Goal difference rarely comes into play, but even so congratulations to Harry Redknapp for creating a team that can entertain, and just think little more than a year ago Spurs were fearing relegation under a certain Juande Ramos.