Nick Rodger looks back at the quirky side of golf ahead of the new year in 2020.

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NICK RODGERRESS

You may have noted that with Covid-19, poor old Greg Norman had a hard time. After an all-expenses-paid cruise, Jaws, always sporting the kind of glowing teeth, tan and tone that would make Adonis look like Les Dawson, is fighting the virus with characteristic jaw-clenching defiance. “Let’s get this sh*** over with, never to experience it again,”Let’s get this sh*** over with, never to experience it again.

A new year is upon us, and after last week’s coverage of the dizzying highlights of the season, there is still time for the annual peek at the quirkier side of golf in 2020.

SEASON’S CARNIVAL.

Golf is full of quirky oddities, incomprehensible nonsense and nonsensical idiosyncrasies. And no, we’re not talking about Pilates being performed by Colin Montgomerie. Ok, not anyway yet.

Award ceremonies are riddled with the kind of eccentric abnormalities that you would expect to find in the recycling garbage can of Heath Robinson, away from the venerable splendor of the Claret Bottle. The sight of the boss of a tournament sponsor gingerly handing a gaudy monstrosity to a winning player is as humiliating as the sight of a doddering husband shopping in an Ann Summers boutique, whether it’s an impressive carving here or a bewildering sculpture there.

The winner of this year’s Carbuncle Award goes to the Swiss Ladies Open Prize (pictured). Amy Boulden won her first Tour win, a £30,000 check… And on a pedestal, a donkey. Pulling the udder on? On the mantel, we’re sure it’ll look good. Or in the pasture below.

TIGER Has 10 OF 10 OUT

A scorecard with the figures you see in the numbers segment of an episode of Countdown is a staple of our humble golfing life for us mere mortals. The expression “Well, it was a solid round marred by a couple of pars” sums up the game’s jumbled nature. Millions could sympathize as Tiger Woods played a cruel 10 on the par-3 12th hole at the Masters. “We’ve all been there,” sighed Woods after an agonizing episode. Woods was pulled into a winking pose in a bunker at one point in the lengthy palaver, looking a little like an aged John Wayne desperately attempting to ride a horse. The fact that after the tragedy, Woods finished five of his final six holes with a birdie underlines the resolve of a very great champion. For professional pride and effort, that was 10 out of 10 points.

It takes FULL MONTY off

The notion of the big Scot writhing on a mat and contorting himself into a pelvic swing set off a childish roar when the brazen Colin Montgomerie announced that he had taken up Pilates in 2019, which was only surpassed when Jack Nicklaus posted on Twitter a few weeks ago that his granddaughter had married a man called Todger Strunck.

“By 2020, as part of a rigorous fitness and diet program, the Pilates were back and Colin Montgomerie went from “Full Monty” to “Slimline Monty” before you could say “you can leave your hat on.” Montgomerie lost 40 pounds in total. Funnily enough, a golf journalist once lost a similar amount because, after the wayward Scot made a three-putt on the final hole, he was worried about asking Monty for a quick conversation.

GREAT MILESTONE OF MIGUEL

“you are what you eat,”you are what you eat. “It’s still about sustaining myself, some olive oil, espresso, a nice red wine, a few cigars; I do what I like to do,” said Miguel Angel Jimenez, a Spanish spring veteran, in the midst of glasses of Rioja and wisps of smoke. At 56, when he made his 707th European Tour appearance in July, Jimenez broke Sam Torrance’s record. “I’m working on my elasticity,” he said of the intricate stretches and twitchy strains of his well-documented warm-up routine that raises more eyebrows than Monty’s Pilates. Well, maybe not so many…

RESTING IN SOCIALLY-DISTANCED TIMES Linked.

This year, we have all had to get used to new ways of interacting. The first time you successfully made a family zoom call for some of you is probably still in the same tr tr

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