Sunday, 22 February 2015

Rory (Me and golf have a history!)

Put a football at my feet or a rugby ball/cricket bat/tennis racket in my hand and I'll do all right – I'll not embarrass myself. But please don't let me swing a golf club. Don't even mention that perhaps I might perchance make up a foursome ever again.

Just as I'm picking the ball out of the hole after another inglorious triple bogie, I hear a suited gentlemen with a business-like English accent questioning if I was using Nike golf balls – the type Rory McIlroy uses. I obviously answer incorrectly as instead of getting a year's free supply of golf balls he issues me with a petition signed by fifty irate residents fed up with my wayward Nike balls smashing into their conservatory windows, taking slates off their roof, leaving pimpled dents in their top of the range cars and in one instance killing Thumper* a much loved pet rabbit. I am lost for words as he serves me with an injunction banning me from using their company's brand of ball and from setting foot in Balmoral Golf Club again. Yes, me and golf have had a history! 

I also have a history of getting soaked at Ulster rugby games and Boxing Day 2014 was no exception. Ulster were beating Connacht at half time when Rory McIlroy appeared out of the wet, misty night air at Ravenhill to be interviewed during the break by the BBC. The unwitting person in charge of music at the ground deserves a blooper medal for playing the very inappropriate 'Sweet Caroline' at the very time the interview starts and with us all joining in the chorus (as we always do). Our World Number One golfer, who had split with top ranking Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki earlier in the year, could only laugh rather awkwardly at this unfortunate coincidence and probably recall she hadn't sent him a card for Christmas.

It dawned on me during the second half, with Ulster struggling on the field against their mid-table rivals, that I should do a pastel painting of our local born embarrassed hero with the challenge being that it should actually look like him! I googled his name and called up hundreds of photographs featuring Rory teeing off with a wood, playing an iron shot from the fairway, a sand wedge from a bunker and a putter on the green.

After a while it became apparent I wanted a close up. The best of these were the drives, the crisp iron shots and I lightboxed five after narrowing the search field down.

RORY McILROY  [ with more than a hint of my reflection in the glass ]  2015

I was pleased with most of the pastel, his club, jacket and hat look great but if Rory should ever see this he would probably want to sue me for the amount of poor plastic surgery he looks to have has undergone in my painting. No matter what I tried there was no getting round my shoddy below par performance here. I know where I went wrong and though it was too late for Rory it was perfect timing for the lovely Keira Knightly later in the year. Maybe I'll do another one of Mr McIlroy should he ever win the Masters! 

* Thumper wasn't really his name. I had to insert that to protect myself from physical damage should that little boy, whose pet rabbit it was, ever grow up to be a psychopath with a long lasting grudge for wayward golfers and a memory for names.

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