Posted by: RFC Blogger from Bridgend | October 5, 2010

PNE 1 RFC 1 2/10/10 – Ryder Cup day 2

Just watched Jem Karacan’s goal on BBC. It’s a real cracker. I’m pleased for him as he works his socks off for the team, and often does not have much to show for it, so well done Jem.

I did manage to listen to updates on the game on 5 live on a radio bought at the Ryder Cup, so was not completely cut off at the Ryder Cup as I expected.

The Ryder Cup was a brilliant experience, which I would thoroughly recommend to anyone who gets the chance to go to. Despite the mud, which on the TV did not look anywhere near as bad as it was in reality, Celtic Manor was fantastic. Standing on the bank above the 16th hole, you could see many of the holes, and the valleys and hills in the area. The sun shone most of the morning and we watched the first point won for the Europeans and the first point won for Americans played out in front of us. It was fantastic to experience the atmosphere, and the rules and protocols of such a big team event. I’m not a fan of golf as such, but do enjoy a good team sport, and really enjoyed the build up of expectation.

We got the 6:30 train from the local station, and then paid for our bus transfer to the Celtic Manor, and were walking down the very steep path down to the course by about 7:45am. I’d opted for wellies as I did not have any other waterproof footwear. 10 hours later, my legs were absolutely knackered walking around in wellies all day. That said it was the right option. It was a sea of mud everywhere, and I would have ended up on my backside in any other footwear. I’ve never experienced anything like it.

From a fantastic vantage point above the 16th hole we watched Westwood and Kaymer beat Mickelson and Johnson and then Stricker and Woods beat Poulter and Fisher for the first whole points for each team in the four balls. We had tasty bacon rolls and hot chocolate whilst talking with an Irish man wearing a chicken hat on his head (he wanted to get on tv).

From there we waddled through the mud to the stand at the 8th hole and watched the foursomes play through this hole. There were half a dozen Canadian’s sat immediately behind me and MOH, and when the rain came eventually, they pulled out plastic capes which were white with the red maple leaf printed all over them. Then we walked back through the middle of the course and back to the 16th to watch the end of the foursomes.

We thought we ought to see the “tented village” which was way over the other side, which is probably where we found the worst of the mud. Then round to the first tee where we watched Poulter and Kaymer start off against Mickelson and Fowler in the second round of fourballs. This was where we heard the “ole’s” and the roaring as the players took practice swings. Ricky Fowler who I think was the wild card for the American team, maybe he did understand, but it did not look like, had to put up with British fans of Eastenders shouting Ricky a la Bianca style. This went on a bit longer than it needed to. But I guess the fans were a bit alcohol fuelled by this time.

We followed them round to the second tee, and watched them tee off. The mud around holes 1 – 6 was the worst in the course, I’m guessing because most fans made it this far the previous day. MOH nearly went over a couple of times. So i was amazed to see Ian Poulter send his ball flying up the fairway, and then as the entourage started making its way up the course, he ran off the tee, under the ropes at the side of the course, across the mud river, to have a wee of the side of the course. By this stage he had a steward near him, but I could imagine him going over on the mud! Thankfully he did not.

After this we made our way up the hill to the buses, which was like a ten minute step exercise session, the bus left more or less straight away and we caught the 18:33 back to our local station. By half past eight we were on our way out again to some friends 50th birthday, and dancing to music until late into the night.

Its taken two days to get over Saturday’s exertions, but a fantastic day all the same. And the Royals got a point away. A good result all round!!

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