The Scottish Open’s Trump card?
Could a Scottish Open at Trump International Golf Links be on the agenda? I only ask because Aberdeen Asset Management chief Martin Gilbert met up with Donald Trump in Aberdeen last week during the entrepreneur’s most recent trip to Scotland. Nothing official but here’s a theory…
Aberdeen Asset Management is locked in to sponsor the Scottish Open until 2017, a role (and cost) it shares with the Scottish Government.
If the government pulls its support – and, with no Ryder Cup ‘legacy’ box to tick, it stands to reason that it might – AAM would potentially need the support of another wealthy, prominent backer to underwrite part of the cost of the tournament. Someone with deep pockets and a world-class, tour-ready golf development, perhaps. Someone like, oh, I don’t know, Donald Trump perhaps?
Just speculating, of course.
Stop the press!
Malcolm X (bear with me) once noted that ‘the media is the most powerful entity on Earth’. If so, then the balance of that power has shifted unmistakably on the European Tour. At this week’s BMW PGA Championship, the media was banned from the driving range, as had been the norm in previous years. Instead, reporters were allocated a small – and frankly demeaning – ‘pen’ at the far end of the range, from which it was almost impossible to do any kind of productive work.
The decision to relocate the media was taken by the tour after complaints from players who felt that the range had become too busy in recent years. That, they argued, would be alleviated by getting shot of the people who promote them and, in turn, their sponsors.
Did it work? Use the pics below to judge for yourself. The first is taken from the far end of the ‘pen’ looking out towards the range. The second is taken from the entry to the ‘pen’ just ten seconds earlier.
That’s right. The range was still packed. So packed, in fact, that I even overheard Miguel Angel Jimenez complain about it as he struggled to get past a band of hangers-on. So, if it’s not the media causing the problem, who is it? That, of course, is a question that really ought to have been asked in the first instance…
An ongoing ‘Case’
Paul Casey was originally scheduled to play at Wentworth this week but was forced to pull out due to unresolved ‘green card issues’ in the US. Apparently, the former world No.3 can’t leave the States until such times as that business is cleared up. When he does get playing over here again, he’ll have a new man on his bag after splitting with Scottish caddie Mark Crane. The pair recently called time on their five-month partnership, with Crane picking up the bag of another English star, Chris Wood.
Wentworth: it’s not Dalmuir
There are one or two differences between the Dalmuir Pro-Am and the BMW PGA Championship. So said Chris Kelly, the prolific Tartan Tour winner who was in the field at Wentworth this week. Admiring the Surrey surroundings, Kelly cast his mind back to playing at Dalmuir a few years ago. His girlfriend, fellow professional Heather MacRae, decided to caddie for him, against Kelly’s better judgement. His fears were well placed when, as early as the third hole, a band of, ahem, ‘spectators’ emerged from the trees and bellowed: “Gaun yersel’ big man, letting her oot of the kitchen, eh? Nice one!” No such problems at Wentworth, of course. The only thing hiding amongst the trees there are £11m houses and Maseratis…
Kids these days…
Lucy Li qualified for the US Women’s Open this week – aged 11. Eleven. Eleven. To give that some context, Tiger had won the majority (eight) of his majors by the time she was born.
Rory’s ‘PC’ policy
“I haven’t put my phone on for two days and have given away my laptop,” noted Rory McIlroy in the aftermath of his split from Caroline Wozniacki. Which begs a very important, pertinent, and pressing question: did he erase his hard-drive first?
Beware the injured golfer
He hasn’t played golf for two months, it’s unclear when he next will, and he’s relinquished his position as world No.1 Despite all that, however, Tiger Woods is still the bookies’ favourite to win the US Open (which he probably won’t play in) in just over three weeks’ time. See?
Poults’ pain in the back…
Don’t be alarmed (well, not yet) but Ryder Cup uber-performer Ian Poulter is carrying an injury. I overheard him complain of having been suffering from back spams of late and, after his practice session on Wednesday, he was heard to say: “I can’t believe I’ve hit as many shots as I have, to be honest.” Here’s hoping it’s nothing serious – Europe needs ‘The Postman’ to deliver the goods at Gleneagles this September.