I got chatting to some of the wonderful volunteers as I walled form the parking lot to the golf today and I have to say the volunteers are amazing.
The logistical coordination of a multitude of people for such an event and having it work so smoothly is remarkable. Golf passionistas come together from all over Australia to show off our country and ensure that the best golfers in the world have a great tournament and return again next year.
And they do it purely because they love golf.
Today was an exciting day of golf and an awesome ending to a wonderful week.
I headed to the range for a bit this morning and watched some players warm up, chatted with Ben Ikin for a bit, saw Lachy from Empower Golf then visited some of the golf vendors to see what they were offering. One vendor was professing they had the perfect socks but I didn’t feel I needed to find out about the perfect socks so continued on my way.
I bumped into John (a volunteer who was working on the 16th I met earlier in the week) and we discussed me heading to Canberra in the next few weeks to golf with him and his mates and chat to the club pros about Fairways.
I then headed to the first tee to watch Jason Norris and Greg Chalmers head on out and followed them for a bit with a few of Norrey’s entourage.
It was a perfect day for golf – I just wished I had club in my hand.
There were birdies dropping all over the course but some players were having a tough day.
To play at a steady elite level is difficult and Curtis Luck said it best “….. your best golf isn’t required to win. You need good golf and you need to be able to manage yourself throughout the week”.
Some players were pushing for that bit too much and in my experience forcing golf never makes for a good scoring round.
I caught up with one of my first golf friends, Sylv, who I met when Spieth won his first Australian Open in 2014. Sylv (along with other members of Woollahra Golf Club) were volunteering on the 8th and I headed off after catching up with him and walked back to the media centre.
After getting to my desk, Kathie Shearer, who runs the media centre, came and told me that I had had a visitor earlier. Geoff Bramann, who is the Assistant Food and Beverage Manager at Royal Sydney, had stopped in to see me. I first met Geoff when we both shaved our heads at a fundraiser a mutual friend was running while he was receiving chemo. Before I went to find him I grabbed some lunch.
Instead of eating at my desk, as I had done all week, I sat and watched the golf with a couple of folk from Fox Sports, enjoying a golf chat over lunch.
I swapped details with Zac (a reporter from Fox) and headed off to find Geoff Bramann.
I stopped into the clubhouse and asked for if they could find Geoff for me. We had a great catch up and plan to tee it up before I leave the country.
As I was passing the 18th Norrey was playing his final hole so I stopped and watched him finish his round. I got chatting to the girl beside me when she told me she liked my shorts. We got chatting and it turns out Dani is a fellow blogger and new to golf – two months into golf in fact. She has just moved so she could be closer to her course. We had a good chat and will probably tee it up sometime in the future.
I headed out to the 15th as I wanted to watch some of Cullen. I watched the joint leader, Cameron Smith, come through and even Nick Cullen cheered when he dropped his par putt on the 17th.
I followed Cullen in and found a spot greenside on the 18th to watch the rest of the leaders come in. At one stage there were four tied in 1st place until Ogilvy doubled the 16th and then there were three. Ashley Hall, Cameron Smith who had both finished and Jordan Spieth. Jordan needed to birdie the 18th to take the trophy but couldn’t do it. After Ogilvy and Baddeley came in, Hall, Smith and Spieth returned to the 18th tee in a playoff.
Spieth dropped the ball into the middle of the fairway while Hall and Smith were left. Spieth threw a dart and Hall matched his shot. The backspin on Smith’s ball rolled it into a tricky position and he missed the birdie putt. Spieth dropped his birdie putt and it was up to Hall. He missed his putt.
Spieth won his second Australian Open in an exciting finish on a glorious afternoon.
Tomorrow I get to golf myself and am looking forward to having a club in my hand again after watching the golf for two weeks.