Scottish savvy has predictions on the money

Jon Swift

Jon Swift

It takes something very special to emerge on the golf course to set the Incomprehensible Scot’s pulses racing. But, he enthused, he had found it in this year’s Masters tournament.

And so it was on the eve of the final round of the hallowed event over the gloriously multi-coloured tapestry of the Augusta National layout, that the Incomprehensible One had no hesitation in naming his winner before a club had been swung in the last 18 holes of the hunt for the treasured Green Jacket.

“Tha’s sum pleyer, tha Jordan Spieth,” he said, stating the blindingly obvious of the young Texan. “Nae mere’n 21 an he pleys lak sumwoon tha’s been oot thar fer yeers.”

The Scot’s love and knowledge of the game have been developed over a lifetime of play in the frustrating pursuit of a white ball with instruments ill-suited from the job over stretches of terrain lanscaped by inherent sadists.

Yet this has never really interfered with his ongoing affair with the game he has played over some of the great links layouts Scotland has thrown up and to his credit, freely admits that the Old Course at St Andrews, the Holy Grail of the game, roundly defeated him. “Couldna brek a hunnert”.

It must be said at this juncture that though the Scot is deeply imbued with the rich traditions of the game, he has been equally taken by any number of recent winners.

Tiger Woods, prior to his marital implosion, is a classic example and while no doubt he secretly prayed the Tiger would not regain the form which earned him 14 Major titles and then go on past the benchmark 18 set by the great Jack Nicklaus, had been lavish in his praise of Woods over the years.

“Tha’s nae tha same pleyer the noo,” was his current estimation of the Tiger’s seemingly waning powers. Again, a savvy critique of someone who made a billion dollars from the game before having to virtually halve that amount with his disenchanted ex-wife Elin Nordegren. But the list didn’t end there.

“Rory McIlroy,” he said. “Tha gees that baa a munster cloot. An tha kens what tah do ta wun.

“Justin Rose. Yah hav’tae stey wi a pleyer who didna quit aftah mussin 25 cuts.

“Then tha’s oor S’Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel. Ye canna rool tham oot.

“Bah Spieth, yon’s a reel pleyer.”

It was not an assessment made into a vacuum. The general feeling was that the Incomprehesible One had got that on the money. His opening 64 had offered proof that Spieth’s joint-second finish behind Bubba Watson was no flash in the pan.

His second-round 66 confirmed it.

“Yon will havta jus shoot a 70 to win bah foor shuts,” Incomprehesible One’s confident prediction, made with all the ironclad certainty of the products which had once poured out of the foundries of his native Falkirk.

It is sufficient to note that none of the gathering chose to contradict him … and significant that he hit it on the button.

What remains now for the regular members of the informal gathering is to avoid the Scot for a few days so they won’t have to hear him say: “Ah toll ye soo.”




today in print

today in print