I will concede that I am a tennis couch potato. The last time I held a tennis racket, it was a wooden Wilson. But I am a devoted tennis couch potato. I have been one since my teenage years: a fan of Agassi and then of Federer. Only a fan of those two players. I admit that I only watched tennis if they were on the court. I don't care about the rest. I gave up an expensive semi-finals ticket at Flushing Meadows because Agassi lost in the quarter finals. The most memorable match ever was the Agassi-Federer game I watched live at the Dubai stadium. Agassi lost the match: I cried in public as I saw him pass the torch to my now favorite player, Roger Federer.
For golf, one name only: Tiger Woods. He went to Stanford University like my sister did and that was the first time I heard his name. I have been to golf competitions and watched the pros play but it has always been random and with little enthusiasm.
At the opposite of tennis, I am not a golf couch potato. I have never watched a single golf competition on TV. I am a very active golf aficionado and beginner player. I just got my very own clubs as a 40th birthday gift, which tells you how long I have been playing! My son had his since he was 5!
Dubai has spectacular sports moments, in golf, tennis and even swimming (my son attended the 10th FINA Swimming Competitions). I remember buying golf shoes in a far flung Californian suburb and the teenage salesman asked us where we played golf: "Dubai? They have the Desert Classic there!"
This Dubai Classic was flavored by the arrival of my favorite champion and I informed my friends: "Gone Tiger Hunting in the Woods", hedging myself against their teasing about my keen interest on following his game. This Friday morning, there was no sleeping in for my son, his friend or I. The three of us where at the 8am T-time of Tiger by fluke, uninformed but lucky.
There are two ways of watching a golf game live: either you sit in the bleachers or you follow the players, from one hole to the other, therefore following the players at their pace and distance. If you sit in the bleachers, you only have a view of one hole and you watch a succession of players. I have only walked and played 9 holes on a course. For 18 holes, I always take a buggy. In today's case, I walked the 3 hours with Tiger.
I had two close encounters with Tiger that are blog worthy. He elbowed me for passage to the next T when he was expected from the front. The other one was the ball falling next to a palm where I sought shade (granted with fifty other fans). He chipped it at a meter's distance from me, as if to demonstrate the perfect chip: I saw him open the club face and practice in the long grass and then the ball flew in perfect hight, over the bunker, onto the green. How interesting and entertaining to understand a good shot for all the times I strove to reproduce it!
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