Cameron Smith admits the big pull of the Masters is the sandwiches

Ruby sees red with the cameraman as his Grand National hopeful fails to deliver

Australia’s Cameron Smith during his final round of the Masters at Augusta National golf club in Georgia. Photograph: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

A weekend of that sporting magnitude can severely mess with your head, largely because of sleep deprivation, a lack of fresh air and channel-hopping so frenzied you start seeing Noble Yeats, Meath and Riyad Mahrez in a three-way play-off at the Masters, Mahrez having missed a tiddler of a putt on the 18th to seal the title.

In fact at one point on Sunday evening some of us could have sworn we saw Harry Kane in the Sky studio at Augusta punditing on the golf, not a huge amount of time after he came off the pitch at Villa Park where his foursome with Son Heung-Min had yielded a hat-trick of birdies for the South Korean.

Paul McGinley and Butch Harmon were standing alongside Harry, nodding in approval at his analysis, especially when he said that he only time he can ever understand the trials of being a golfer is when he takes penalties. Although Scottie Scheffler and the like rarely have to contend with spectators waving their buttocks at them as they line up their spot-putts, so to speak, nor having them loudly question their parentage.

Butch was so impressed with Harry’s analysis he called him “The Maaaaaaan!”, although if Butch isn’t familiar with soccerball there’s a chance he just thought Harry was Danny Willett’s caddy.


By then you’d start worrying about yourself until you received a reply to your text that confirmed that Harry Kane was indeed punditing at the Masters and you weren’t hallucinating.

Harry tipped Aussie Cameron Smith to overhaul Scheffler’s lead and win the Masters, and to be honest, that’s who this couch was rooting for too, largely because of his answer to Sky when they rounded up a bunch of players and asked them what they loved most about the Masters.

“The traditions”, “the history”, “the aura of the place”, “the magical atmosphere”, “the respect for past winners”, and so on. Cameron? “The sandwiches.”


Aintree, of course, has a bit of history about it too, but – and not to be gender-biased here – nothing was ever going to match last year. Unless Snow Leopardess won, the ITV team making much of the fact that she’s a working mother with a three-year-old daughter called Red Panda, a single mother too because the father, Sir Percy, has been a stud since 2008 and has lost count of how many kids he has at this stage and cares less.

Once she pulled up, though, and after Rachael fell, it was, like Sir Percy, hard to care, the final dagger through the heart Ted Walsh’s Any Second Now being beaten into second a year after it came third.

Ruby nigh on needed blinkers on him to do his post-race-analysis, the fella coming close to punching the lights out of the ITV camera staring at him, such was his frustration.

Ruby, incidentally, is a Manchester United fan, so however rubbish your weekend might have been just be grateful you’re not him.

The game between Everton and United was as attractive as a carbuncle, in contrast to the tussle between their respective neighbours come Sunday.

“It takes a lot to get me excited, let me tell ya,” said Roy Keane ahead of the game, the fella reaching Micah Richards-levels of excitement – kidding – and the resulting contest didn’t disappoint. Apart from Riyad missing that tiddler.

Pep Guardiola had complained earlier in the week about the Premier League scheduling this not-inconsequential fixture for the same time as the start of the final round of the Masters, but he neglected to point out that it also clashed with Meath v Donegal in the National League football final.


God love whoever’s tasked with writing the script for “Meath: The Movie”, they’ll be laughed out of town for its far-fetchedness.

The plot: from nowhere to senior All Ireland champions to first-time National League Division One winners in the blink of an eye.

“They’re a very special bunch that we’ll never see the like of again,” their manager Eamonn Murray told TG4 after his charges held on to beat Donegal by 2-08 to 1-09, displaying the very same relentless, breathless energy that saw them conquer Dublin last September.

A sporting story like few others. The movie will be a blockbuster.

You’ll find it in the fantasy section.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times