124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

The Charisma Bypass

April 12, 2009

Occasionally a column should be read strictly for its entertainment value, and this is one, from Martin Johnson of the Times of London.

The headline, "Fat chance of Augusta rediscovering lost glory," is a giveaway as to its subject matter. Johnson amusingly juxtaposes fitness fanatic Gary Player with Chad Campbell, who is in position to win an extra-large green jacket. For those of us who prefer our golfers kneaded rather than chiseled, it is a particularly amusing column.

Here's the second paragraph:

"The most evocative farewell, however, belonged to Gary Player, who decided it was time to go before teeing it up in his 52nd consecutive Masters, but who would probably have packed it in anyway when he saw Chad Campbell's name at the top of the leaderboard. Player's collection of hobbyhorses runs to toilet-roll length. Obesity is a particular favourite and Campbell is so amply proportioned he dare not get too close to Rae's Creek for fear of being harpooned."

Johnson concludes this way: "Augusta wants dashing young heroes (which is presumably why their committee waived a clear breach of the rules instead of disqualifying Rory McIlroy on Friday) but if Campbell slips on (or in his case struggles to get into) the green jacket, the world's most evocative golf course entrance, Magnolia Drive, may have to be renamed the Charisma Bypass."

-- John Strege