I have to admit Graham McDowell never really figured on my list of people who were going to win Major golf titles. Last night he not only put himself on the list he also become the first European Golfer to win the U.S Open in 40 years. In a steady and professional manner his course management was second to none as employed the tactic of holding his own and let the others do the damage. Damage they did with some of the biggest names in golf dropping by the wayside as the last round matured toward the presentation ceremony. It was a proud moment to be Irish.
European Golf looks strong as we swing toward the Ryder Cup later in the year. There have been some good showings by the best Europe has to offer on the U.S tour with wins for Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood. The rest of Europe's elite have also had strong finishes on tour and it all bodes well for the showdown with the Americans as we try to win the trophy back.
I'd have given G-Mac about the same chance as I would give a bag of sweaty banana's on a sweltering day to win this one. He always believed in his game and also in himself. Swell ride to the top. He's there now and Paddy Harrington has stiff competition for endorsement deals. Maybe Paddy can win his third British Open next month?
Portugal went to town on the hapless North Koreans and can expect a good bolloxing off Kim-Jong-Eggit when they get home. The Portuguese fired seven past them in the first match of the day and set out their stall as contenders for the competition. Goals from Meireles, Simao, Almeida, Tiago (2) Liedson and God's gift to himself, Cristiano Ronaldo made sure the Koreans don't enjoy their meal this evening and should be enough to secure the Portuguese a slot in the round of 16.
Switzerland failed to capitalise on their impressive opening win against the Spanish when they went down 1-0 to Chile in a sleepy affair in the second offering of the day. A goal from Mark Gonzales made it two wins from two for the country that hosted the competition back in 1962. I can't see them emulating their countrymen who finished third on that occasion but then again if I was any good at punditry then I'd get the middle seat between Gilsey and Dunph and we could just go for. Total improv, swell pay-packet too.
Spain and Honduras served up the evening entertainment. Spain had the best of the opening exchanges with David Villa coming close early on when his shot rebounded off the crossbar. Shots that hit the crossbar should get something in football. That takes real skill.
Villa made up for his blunder when he weaved his feet as fast as a competent connoisseur of wool before firing the ball cleaning into the part of the net that was mangled in the corner as the ball hit home.
I always thought sheep-shearing was sort of degrading for sheep and never really the measure of a man but then again I eat chops. Shouldn't really entitle me to an opinion so I'll shut my mouth.
Fernando Torres tortured my prediction list as he failed to deliver the goods with two excellent chances in the 33rd minute. Villa continued to dazzle and I'm sure it's him in an Arsenal jersey is what i want for Christmas. All I wanted last year was a rain-free day. I didn't get that either.
Liam Brady fondled with the mindset of the footballing nation sending most off for their night time beverage of choice. Relationships were stretched to the limits for another 45 minutes. Spain continued on their merry way and Villa made it 2-0 on 50 minutes with the help of a deflection. There was no such luck when VILLA (yes i said it again) missed a penalty on 62 minutes to complete his hat-trick. Fabregas was introduced soon after and nearly scored within minutes but his effort was cleared off the line. Torres ended his personal misery on 70 minutes and looks like Samson after cutting his hair. I still expect him to be a powerhouse throughout though.
Spain continued to dominate and easily seen out time to set up a group decider with the men from Santiago and beyond. It could be a cracker if Torres wakes up. It's all about match fitness. He's nearly there.
Things are hotting up in the England squad after John Terry spoke out in public yesterday only for Fabio Capolla publicly announcing that the guy who was stripped of the England captaincy only a few months ago made a 'big mistake'. There is an expectation that Terry will be dropped in favour of Matthew Upson in a show of 'who is boss?'
The right to secrecy when it comes to team games can only be a good thing. We'd all like to be flies on walls during some of those dressing room showdowns. Make great reality TV. But dressing rooms are sacred places and Terry came across as a prima-donna and as such much be treated as such. Make him wear a nappy and suck a soother if he wants to play for his country again. Or then again, just sack Fabio.
But the day belongs to Graham McDowell. New Irish sporting hero. Will he become a God and if he does when will we know he is one? What makes up such status in this modern era? Only time, like with everything, will tell. You get the Booker endorsement and are inducted into my personal hall of fame.