Learning from New Zealand’s return to sport; Trump gets back on the course

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Crusaders Richie Mo’unga catches the ball during a training session at Rugby Park in Christchurch. Photo: AP Photo/Mark Baker

Crusaders Richie Mo’unga catches the ball during a training session at Rugby Park in Christchurch. Photo: AP Photo/Mark Baker

It’s what many of us are waiting for. While there will be no crowds when sport gets back underway in New Zealand, the fact that all team sports are set to begin again gives us all an envious glimpse of what, hopefully, we could see within a few months. “I’m not sure if [NEW ZEALAND]people reflect outwardly their pride in that we are doing better than someone else. I think there is a sense of togetherness and that we have been through something tough and we have all contributed,” Sport New Zealand chief executive Peter Miskimmin tells Johnny Watterson this morning. One sport that took only a short break around the world was the good-for-social-distancing sport of golf which is now 10 days back into its first reopening phase here in Ireland while, in the US, courses in many states never closed at all. And while golf-in-chief Donald Trump did take some time off to watch the death toll in his country mount and tick past 100, he got the clubs back out last weekend for a round at his own course in Virginia. In his column this morning, Dave Hannigan looks at the reaction across the country and why Trump holds such a special place for the sport.

Sticking with golf and Dr Bob Rotella has, over the years, become the face of the psychological side of the game in his work with numerous players including three-time Major winner Pádraig Harrington. This morning he speaks to Joanne O’Riordan about the simple mental techniques all golfers can use to improve their game and what the best ways are to cope with lockdown and isolation. Meanwhile, GUI coach Neil Manchip is usually a busy man between his time working with Shane Lowry and everything else he does but the last few months have been obviously quieter. This morning he tells John O’Sullivan that Zoom calls with the likes of Rory McIlroy, Paul Dunne and Paul McGinley speaking to the Irish underage panels during lockdown was a great benefit for all involved and, with club golf back and a return for the elite game on the horizon, his focus now turns back to the course.

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