Tuesday, 11 April 2017
I really have little interest in watching sport. There are a few exceptions which I do try and watch and enjoy: the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Races (brilliant now that the ladies race is given as much TV time as the men's), the Grand National and The Golf Masters from the stunningly beautiful Augusta National Golf Club.
Having been born in Liverpool it's inconceivable that I wouldn't have come into contact with the Grand National. Almost everyone used to have a flutter (usually as a member of a workplace sweepstake) and may, so far as I know, still do. My family made a (minor) killing in 1956 when E.S.B. won the race. My maternal uncle's initials were E.S.B. Enough said!
This year I knew one runner: One For Arthur and I knew about him because he was the only Scottish trained horse in the race and the owners, registered as Two Golf Widows, managed to make the Scottish news before the race.
I decided to have a flutter and then realised that to do so I'd probably have to set up an online betting account so abandoned the idea. It's a shame because my intended £10 would have netted me £140 which would have provided a case of an acceptable red. Hey ho.
Then on Sunday night I stayed up to watch the enthralling final round of The Masters where the last people on the course, Justin Rose (England) and Sergio Garcia (Spain), battled it out and at the end of four rounds and 72 holes were level so went to a sudden death play-off. They are friends and their respective partners (wife and fiancée respectively) were very obviously friendly as well. I would have been very happy for either to win but Sergio in his 74th Major event managed his first Major title.
There was an added poignancy because it would have been his fellow Spanaird the late Severiano "Seve" Ballesteros's 60th birthday.
I was pleased that he won. However what was really heart-warming in this age of business which is called sport was the wonderful attitude that the defeated Justin Rose displayed.