‘Graphing the British Open with my “Mum”

BY: T.C.

 

Recently, I was lucky enough to have one of the most unique sports-related and autograph-related experiences I’ve ever had.  My wife (Tiffany) had to travel to Manchester, U.K. for work.  I decided to go over there so that when she was done working, we could have a mini-vacation in the U.K.  My parents also decided to come along because they can fly for free (my dad retired from Delta) and they have never been to Europe before.  On the Wednesday that we landed in Manchester, Tiffany had to work the entire day, so my parents and I had to find something to do.  On the Monday before we left, I was trying to figure out an activity and someone mentioned the British Open.  As I did some research, it turned out that the British Open was being played in Southport, which is only about 40 miles from Manchester.  I talked my parents into going over there with me for the practice round and it was a blast.  It was a complete pain in the ass to get there, but it was well worth the trouble. 

 

When we arrived, we got to ride on a shuttle bus from the parking area that was one of those double-decker busses that you always see in pictures of England (of course, this really excited my mom).  As we arrived at the course, we checked out the souvenir stand.  I saw some pin flags and decided to grab a couple for the outside shot that I might be able to get a player or two to sign them.  As we started to watch the players, it struck me how difficult the conditions were.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  The wind was gusting up to 50 mph and swirling in different directions.  We actually saw a couple of players go to putt their ball, only to have the wind start blowing it around the green!

 

Anyhow, after watching the players fumble around the course for about an hour, we headed over to hang out around the 18th green and see if we could grab some ‘graphs as players came off the course.  I was delighted to see how friendly and accommodating most of the golfers were.  My mom and I both got over 20 signatures on our pin flags, including sigs from: David Duval, Nick Faldo, Adam Scott, Michael Campbell, and lots of others.  It was really cool to be able to do something like that with my mom and to see how excited she was as she got their autographs.  The only guy that was really a jerk was Greg Norman, which really disappointed me because I used to like him.  Not only was he rude to my mom, myself, and the 15 or so other fans that were there, he was really mean to an 8 year old kid, which really ticked me off.  He actually grabbed the kid’s autograph book to sign it, walked behind a 7 foot fence, and then threw it over his shoulder without looking back.  The book landed face down on the ground and the fall kind of messed the book up.  C’mon, Shark…if you don’t want to sign, then fine…but don’t ruin a little kid’s autograph book.  I definitely won’t be buying any more of his golf gear!  It was actually kind of fun, though, because it gave my mom & I someone to root against for the week.  Nobody was happier to see the grumpy old fart choke again than we were! 

 

 

 

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