Jordan Spieth

WANG’OMBE: Embarrassing moments in game of golf

By VINCENT WANG’OMBE
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Last Friday, I played a round of golf at Sigona Golf Club in a bra.

And no, this is not a figure of speech, nor was I being emasculated over actions or inactions on the golf course.

I was literally wearing the ladies’ undergarment in support of a worthy cause.

Women 4 Cancer, a charity that is raising awareness on breast cancer, wanted the focus for the day to be on breasts. To this end wearing bras worked wonders. The format of play was Texas Scramble, and it was a major boost for our team to have two long hitters and a lady, Wambui Gitonga, who was very good in the short game. For some reason, wearing a bra really helped my short game and so Wambui and I complimented each other very well on putts.

However, there was one thing that Wambui kept doing that made my heart stop each time she did it.

You see, Wambui is a breast cancer survivor and to put it in her words, she now “eats life with a big spoon.” She has a happy-go-lucky attitude towards golf and at times her approach may be a bit casual.

When Wambui pointed out a line of putt with her putter, she would do it in what seemed to be a very casual manner that to me looked like she would touch the green in the process.

“You know that we would earn a two stroke penalty if you touched the green?”

“Relax Vincent, I am not going to touch the green,” She answered nonchalantly.

Her reassurance did not help much the next time that she pointed out the line of putt.

After watching the Presidents Cup, I was not going to take her knowledge of the Rules for granted. If the 2017 Champion Golfer of the year Jordan Spieth could make a mistake on what to me and many Rules buffs would seem elementary, then I would not put it past my playing partner Wambui.

For those that missed the altercation between Jordan Spieth and Andy McFee, a renowned PGA European Tour referee, suffice it to say that it was quite embarrassing to watch Jordan trying to wiggle out of the penalty that he earned.

Being a match play competition, the players were allowed to concede the next shot.

In this particular four ball match play competition, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed were playing against Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen.

On the par four 12th hole at Liberty National Golf Club, Jason Day’s second shot ended close to the hole and his next shot was conceded.

This meant that the pair had a birdie three in the bag.

Next to play was Louis who had a chance to make an eagle two. Louis’ shot went past the hole and that meant that he was not going to improve on the score that Jason had. Jordan then went and did something that I would expect every golfer to know — you must not exert influence on a moving ball.

Even though Louis’ next shot was not going to make a difference on the score, Jordan was not allowed to pick it up while it was still in motion.

Even if he was going to concede the next shot, he was obliged to wait until the ball came to a complete stop.

By stopping his opponents ball that was still in motion, Jordan was disqualified for the hole and he and his partner lost the hole. The Rules of Golf are very clear on this matter and the arguments that Jordan kept putting across were not going to change the facts. Stopping a ball that is still in motion is a no-no.

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Following my last week’s article in which I wrote about a junior golfer, Ishaan Nathani, who had not received a handicap from Eldoret Golf Club, I received a call from the legendary Moses Tanui who is the region’s Junior Golf Foundation’s co-ordinator.

He clarified that Ishaan’s parents were not members of the club but they have since joined.

As soon as they joined the club, Tanui ensured that Ishaan got a handicap immediately.

However, Tanui is concerned about the many youngsters in the region who may be interested in playing golf but may be locked out because of not being members of a club.

He is starting a programme in Eldoret where the club will come up with a system of adopting youngsters who may be interested in playing golf.

They will spread the programme to schools and encourage the adoption of golf by youngsters across the region.

This is kind of plan that would be see the game of golf grow exponentially if all golf clubs were to adopt.