Spectator sport

DeChambeau’s the one to watch in the Masters

26 September 2020

9:00 AM

26 September 2020

9:00 AM

José Mourinho, it was surprising to read, recently said how relieved he was that the Amazon Prime cameras were out of his hair and he could get back to working in private, the way he likes it. Given that the Spurs documentary programmes, part of the All or Nothing sports series, are long promotional videos for José, made with his consent and, it would appear, absolute collaboration, this was a risible remark. And it turns out erroneous. Far from ending the series, one cameraman continues to work — and was spotted last week at an upmarket bar in Chingford, where Harry Kane and Son Heung-min were relaxing after a training session.

‘Fancy a beer, Sonny?’

‘No, green tea for me, Harry. I live with my parents in our flat in Hampstead and they wouldn’t like it. I owe them everything, as you know.’

‘You’re a good man, Sonny. Even though you didn’t give me the ball against Everton and passed it to that idiot Dele, who’s leaving anyway — and a good thing too. But no matter… I wanted to ask if you saw the picture of that superannuated Welsh golfer at our training ground the other day.’

‘You mean Gareth Bale? The picture where he was smiling all over his face, Harry?’

‘Yes, no wonder he was smiling. He’s being paid more than you and me put together. He’s always injured and anyway won’t be playing before October, if then. He’s probably down at his local golf club now.’

‘We’ve got to show the gaffer what’s what. Listen, I’m a killing machine when I get the ball, Harry. I can beat anyone so just pass it to me and I’ll do the rest. It’s Southampton this week, and between us we can tear them apart. Who needs Bale when they’ve got us, eh? Pretty soon, it’ll be Gareth who?’

All respect to a sensationally brilliant series of international cricket in Southampton and Manchester — magnificently organised against all the odds and played with a dedication scarcely credible amid such empty acres. But the highlight of the sporting year should be on Saturday with the semi-finals of club rugby’s European Champions Cup. They’re international clashes, these, and will be played with an intensity to match, even exceed, most Test rugby.

Racing 92, with Scotland’s Finn Russell their egregiously gifted stand-off, take on a Farrell-less Saracens in Paris. Exeter Chiefs, coached by the ever-doughty Rob Baxter and playing at home in their Devon fortress, are pitted against the venerable princes of French rugby, Toulouse, where World Cup winning winger Cheslin Kolbe, he of the electrifying turn of pace, could dazzle even in the deepest darkness. Don’t miss a second is my advice.

It’s no coincidence that Bryson DeChambeau rhymes with Rambo — and how thrilling that a man who looks like a prop forward and whose back is visible from space can win the toughest of golf majors. Is he bad for golf? No way: sport is about finesse, of course, but also power; the hammer as well as the chisel. Mike Tyson had grace; Martin Johnson, great skill. So why does DeChambeau rile so many people? His touch around the US Open greens was exquisite. All he needs is a good PR adviser who’d help him smile more, and laugh about his detractors. He’s 10-1 for the Masters — I’d get on that if I were you.

The new 10 p.m. chuck-out time at the local could rather spoil things for watchers of football matches with an 8.15 kick-off, who might not relish being asked to drink up and get out in the 84th minute. Though it’ll be fine if you’re an Arsenal fan, as you would have left ten minutes before the end of the game anyway.

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