Right. Special Guest Blog #2 for Bledisloe Cup #3 saw the country of Australia - represented by baggy-arse sports journo me, and Jack Newton who almost won the British Open in ‚??75 before losing by one shot in an 18-hole play-off to Tom Watson ‚?? taking on Puregolf2010, represented by a pair of pups who‚??ve decided travelling the world playing golf every day is a worthy way to spend their time when they could be doing evil lawyer things in evil suits in Evil Wellington better known as ‚??Windy‚?Ě Wellington given people don‚??t take their dogs for a walk they fly them as one would kites.
How windy? Pretty windy. Many years ago I went out with a Kiwi called Windy Wellington, except her name was Wendy and her surname wasn‚??t Willington (more‚??s the pity), but given she also often called me ‚??Mett‚?Ě and ‚??en unsinsetuv pruck‚?Ě, who knows what the crazy bunny-boiler was talking about.
The golf? Top bloody notch, sports fiends, the Hunter Valley of New South Wales is a renowned wine region that sits in the hinterland west of Newcastle. It‚??s also where you can find a lot of coal if you have a huge digging machine and know rich government people in China, and there are several B&Bs and bush cabins like the one the tinny kiwi puppies slept in that being¬†Belford Cabins¬†in Pokolbin. The gall of these two chancers.
The Bledisloe Cup? Let‚??s just say that after 9 holes we called it a draw. True, the Kiwis were up 4 holes up with nine to play, but Jack and I were coming back in a big way. And if we‚??d gone out again after the four beers and four rums we knocked over halfway, the Bledisloe was coming home. But we didn‚??t so it isn‚??t. So we‚??ll call it a draw.
Jack Newton? One of the greats. Top fellah who wandered into an aeroplane‚??s propeller in 1982 or thereabouts and lost an arm and an eye, and nearly the Job Lot, but walked out of hospital and into a pub and has been laughing about it since. He‚??s now a TV commentator and all-round Oz golf legend who raises money for diabetes and junior golf through the¬†Jack Newton Junior Golf Foundation, which pretty much does in Oz what The First Tee does everywhere else: Get kids into golf so they can be good humans. Respect.
The Vintage? Yes ‚?? that‚??s where we played. It‚??s a Greg Norman Design with giant amoeba-shaped bunkers and quick greens and trimmed fairways, and charge more for a double-rum than the Gross Domestic Product of Haiti. It‚??s a fabulous golf course, The Vintage, and if you‚??re ever in the Hunter Valley you should drink heaps of red. And you should play The Vintage. It‚??s a beauty, and the best in the region. (You should also play Newcastle, the other best one in the region.)
Jack Newton #2? Jack won the Australian Open a couple of times, and shot 68-74-69-68 at Augusta but lost the 1980 Masters to Seve Ballesteros by four shots. The British Open in '75 he was on 18 when Tom Watson rolled in a 20-footer to get himself into the play-off. Damned Tom Watson. Today Jack plays off 19 and swings it pretty sweetly using his left arm from a right-standing stance. Knocks it out there 180m with a driver when he gets onto it, mainly when there‚??s an audience as there was on the first (tenth) hole at The Vintage. Super Sportos are like that, it‚??s the same for actors. When people are watching, they like it. Almost chipped in for a birdie on the par-3 12th and mashed two or three drives down the guts with the rhythm you clock in said Super Sportos.
So halfway round we‚??re down by four, but very confident. We had them where we wanted them. So Jack orders a double-rum and beers all round, and how good are they after 9 holes on a gorgeous sunny Tuesday. Very good, that‚??s how good, so we had another one. And then another one.
When I ordered Round #4 Michael and the other one, the funny Scottish one, started looking at their watches, wondering when we were to get the next 9 in. Jack and I (well,¬†mainly I) were of the opinion that they should brush the back (front) nine given these beers were looking like the best way to spend this sunny Tuesday afternoon, in my opinion.¬†
But the boys, credit to their discipline and pure PureGolf2010 mandate, went off on their own in a cart each while Jack and I drank beer and rum and solved problems like how Jack could get onto Augusta if he wanted to but not Ellerston which is in his Region. So we met some fellow (who was in the crowd Jack was impressing on 10) and he‚??s a polo horse bloke who knows some bloke who can get Jack on Ellerston, or at least get a party of 10 or so onto Ellerston who will give heaps of money to diabetes and junior golf in the form the Jack Newton Junior Golf Foundation.
Golf is like this, it‚??s like a giant global network of cashed-up Masons.
So the boys came back from their final nine holes, they sped around in an hour or so, so we shouted them more beers and Jack knocked over another few double-rums, dear Lord Dennis Lillee but the man is a Group One drinker, and we sat about telling lies until the sun went down and Jack‚??s wife Jackie came and put us all out of our misery.
Top, top, TOP¬†bloody day, I assure you.
Six hours later I woke up in the back seat of my car freezing my man-bosoms off with my tongue stapled to the roof of my mouth, wondering where in the name of holy blue bejeezus balls I was. Then I remembered - the car park, I was in no stage to operate machinery - turned on the heater, put a lot of clothes on and tried to get back to sleep. I have often felt better than I did waking up at 5am that morning. So headed off to an all night McDonald‚??s and inhaled a coffee and an apple pie (a vastly under-rated bit of Macca's tucker in my opinion), and drove back down the F3 to the Smoke.
And that was Day #103.
The boys head north to Queensland today, the state where the pineapples are juicier than OJ ‚??The Juice‚?Ě Simpson sucking the juice from a Boost Juice Bar through a garden hose. That‚??s crazy talk. Who writes this stuff?
Bye for now.
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