Hawaiian Open: a good walk spoiled by the threat of annihilation
‘I texted a rules official and asked if tee times were delayed,’ said cool customer Colt Knost
Keith Earls and CJ Stander make their way out onto the pitch for Munster versus Racing 92 in Paris. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
To be truthful, the Hawaiian Open hadn’t been on the weekend’s must-watch list, but how many of us had anticipated a ballistic missile threat? Glasgow Warriors might have hoped for one at the RDS come Sunday, just to bring an early cessation to their ordeal, but it was the golfers in Honolulu who thought their very existence was about to come to a premature end.
“Many called home, some to say goodbye,” CBS’s Todd Lewis told us, Sky having brought us the channel’s coverage of the tournament, so we had Todd on the ground to share the reaction to the morning’s happenings.
“It would have been interesting if we had been on the golf course,” Colt Knost said, and he wasn’t wrong, the timing of the alert robbing us of the sight of players doing what they usually try to avoid, aiming for bunkers.
“William McGirt’s wife called her mother to say goodbye and to tell her where her important papers were,” said Todd, “and John Peterson put his family in the bathtub with mattresses around them. And Michael Greller, Jordan Spieth’s caddy, got in his car and drove away from Honolulu.”
That, of course, left Jordan facing the prospect of having to carry his own bags once the third round got under way, Michael probably by now on a ferry to Alaska. Happily, though, it all turned out to be a false alarm, with the award for the coolest customer going to Colt for his reaction to the alert: “I texted one of the rules officials and asked if tee times were delayed.”
Even if Waialae Golf Course had been apocalyptically laid to waste, then, Colt wanted to know when he should show up for duty, a level of sporting dedication at which you could only purr.
Mark Robson had similar feelings for Zander Fagerson and his commitment to rugby, although the efforts he had made to get himself as fit as possible for Glasgow Warriors had come at a high price. “He dropped a bench on his foot in the gym and he’s out for a couple of months,” he told us during the game at the RDS.
“The moral of the story,” said Stuart Barnes: “Keep yourself away from the gym.”
“I know you did that very successfully,” said Mark, Barnsie possibly happier to confront a ballistic missile than a treadmill.
Leinster, of course, pulverised Glasgow, while the light show and accompanying music over at the U Arena in Paris did much the same to our sight and sound later in the day. “The stadium is like a giant dance floor – Zebo will love it,” said Donncha O’Callaghan of Simon’s impending new home.
“It’s not Thomond Park, is it?” Miles Harrison asked Peter O’Mahony, whose face suggested he was thinking “by the grace of God”.
Anyway, Racing snuck it in the end, but Munster earned a healthy salute from Paul Wallace and Shane Horgan for their efforts, the lads sitting atop bar stools alongside our Sky host James Gemmell back at the RDS.
They probably analysed the day’s games and the latest state of Champions Cup quarter-final qualification play, but it was hard to focus on their thoughts because of the queue of blockheads behind them trying to get their faces on telly. The winking lad supping his pint and smoothing his hair while nearly dislocating his neck trying to be seen between Paul and Shane? You know where you’d like to stick a ballistic missile.
Entertainment wise, the weekend gong goes to Liverpool and Manchester City for that joust at Anfield where the defending was as faulty as the attacking was sublime, thereby guaranteeing a football-bloody-hell kind of game.
Most of the planet saw it live, of course. NBC Sports covered the game in the US. Host Arlo White, Lee Dixon and Graeme Le Saux cornered Jürgen Klopp for a chat on the pitch after, and while the gaffer admitted there were aspects of the Liverpool performance that were less than satisfactory, “as a football fan you say: ‘What the f*** was that?’ Unbelievable!” Arlo turned a whiter shade of pale and then apologised.
If that was one of the weekend’s most memorable moments, Chris Kamara topped it with his Soccer Saturday update from Selhurst Park, where Crystal Palace were hosting Burnley. Doffing his cap to Christian Benteke’s airborne ability, he hollered: “He jumps like a human kangaroo!”
A bit like the golfers in Hawaii when they got that missile alert.