The idea of bucket lists doesn’t sit well here. Whatever about having lists of ambitions one wishes to accomplish, in the aforementioned form they smack of too much finality. One can entirely see what some people might think of such a viewpoint, however, even though there have been numerous times when such a stance on matters may have been extremely tempting.
Anyway, a visit to Mulligan’s famed hostelry in Poolbeg Street would have fairly elevated status on any such compilation in this seat. Many will understand. There’s a story pertaining to the celebrated tavern which has now become folklore. Ted Kennedy visited the revered watering hole shortly after JFK was shot. Wherein that late, lamented banjo craftsman Barney McKenna offered that he was “Sorry about the brother”.
It typified the camaraderie that encapsulates so much of life. Friendliness which encompasses even sporting rivalry once the stage lights fade. There was none of it, however, when the most recent Ryder Cup thundered its way through Hazeltine, Minnesota. That the Americans were the better team is beyond doubt. Still, you wonder might Darren Clarke re-draft some of his team alignment were it possible.
Be all that as it may, some of what the European players – and Rory McIlroy in particular – had to endure exceeded the bounds of spectators trying to put off their opposition. Skill is needed to negotiate different species like these and the Down man, in conjunction with the excellent Belgian Thomas Pieters, displayed an abundance of same in their heroic – if ultimately futile – retrieval attempt in the biennial contest.
It could be said that such flexibility is a prerequisite in pursuits which take on multiple formats. Namely, in this case, golf, and also in darts and cricket. Thinking of the board based activity listed, the recently staged in Dublin World Matchplay Championships, therein it is a necessity to start – as well as finish – by hitting a double.
And, while there were upsets along the way – most notably the expulsion of Phil Taylor by the hitherto unheralded Steve West – it was scarcely surprising that, by the end of it all, the two best players in the game, Gary Anderson and Michael Van Gerwen, who populated the final. Even less so that it was the supremely talented, highly entertaining Dutchman who eventually emerged with a third Dublin title.
Now, non aficionados of affairs of the arrows might scoff at mention of the fact that Van Gerwen has thus far this season accumulated 20 titles. Exerting that much influence must, nonetheless, serve as a franking of his continuing efficiency. That said, those earmarking Taylor’s toppling as evidence of his decline entering a terminal phase may need fool’s pardon awhile yet.
Add to that the fact that the event in the City West Hotel marked noticeable returns to form for Simon Whitlock and David Chisnell and MVG’s conquest of the next major event – during a period which will not yet be mentioned – may not be the foregone conclusion it would be easy to have assumed it to be. Time enough pondering that further later on!