Columnists 8.9.2016 02:33 pm

From everyday birds to absurd albatrosses

Tamlyn Patterson

Tamlyn Patterson

It’s either your day or it really isn’t. Just ask poor old Rafa Nadal.

Everyday life is like a yo-yo, but somehow we get through the ups and downs, ready for the next onslaught of what life has to offer. Sportsmen and women are no different. Except with them, these often tumultuous times are laid bare for the world to see at any given time of the day.

While sighs of frustration and the general consensus of “I told you so” were flying around the office during England’s last-minute victory over Slovakia on Sunday night, news started filtering in of another storm on the American east coast.

Louis Oosthuizen obviously likes making a move on a Sunday with the US PGA’s Deutsche Bank only finishing on Monday of Labor Day weekend. With two opening rounds of 71 and 69, the 2010 Open champion got off to a dream start picking up shots at the second right through to the fifth. And in no time, had moved to within two shots of the lead.

But the birdie bug was obviously contagious with the likes of Rory McIlroy and 36-hole leader Paul Casey both carding third round five-under par 66s. It slowly but surely turned into a Rory show with the Northern Irishman untouchable in Monday’s final round, carding a flawless six-under 65 to win by two shots. Over at Flushing Meadows, it was a foregone conclusion that Gael Monfils would face the rejuvenated Nadal in the quarterfinals on Tuesday night.

So it was shocking to wake up to the news that he had in fact been knocked out. Lucas Pouille gatecrashed the party and made it a French affair. Earlier in the tournament, Simona Halep, the fifth seed, came back from the dead to deny rising Japanese star Naomi Osaka the biggest win of her career.

Down a double break in the decider, the Romanian fought back with Osaka clearly unsettled by all the missed opportunities.Osaka later admitted to “freaking out” after letting a 5-1 lead slip, but despite the meltdown the big-hitting teenager has announced her arrival. Some big names have taken note of this rising star, including Serena Williams who is well aware of the danger she presents.

With only two matches to go before the World No 1 smashes some more records, there is only one ominous force doing the rounds and Angelique Kerber and company will have their hands full in trying to stop Serena from bagging a 23rd Grand Slam.

And finally … imagine holing your second shot into a par-five? Well, Martin Rohwer did just that on Sunday, along with a couple of birdies and eagles. Left with 195m on the par-five 10th, the 23-year-old from Kloof took out a four-iron and watched how the ball drew towards the pin.

The last few seconds were not in sight as it flew over a greenside bunker. But the cheers from the group standing on the green said it all. And while one freak shot may seem like a flash in the pan, the KwaZulu-Natal professional – armed with a newfound confidence – suddenly has a lot to look forward to as he heads off to compete in Europe. Apparently it’s 80 times harder to make an albatross than a holein-one.

The great Seve Ballesteros never had the pleasure of experiencing the rush of an ace so the next time you hit a purple patch, embrace it for all it’s worth. Life is short.

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