Carlos Is Our Fall Guy
Autumn is definitely a good time of year for Carlos Rodiles. Our one Spanish client seems to grow once the leaves start to fall.
A second place finish in The Heritage behind Henrik Stenson moved Carlos into the top 50 on the Volvo Order of Merit and wiped away any fears about not retaining his card.
After a season when he lost two months to a rib injury and possibly came back a little too early, Carlos now has the dunhill links and two tournaments in Spain in which to cement his place for the Volvo Masters where he finished runner-up last autumn.
Simon Wakefield came within one tee shot of securing his playing privileges for next season, but the hook out of bounds on the last of 72 holes at Woburn meant he still has work to do.
A top 10 finish nevertheless earned him enough money to sneak into the top 115 and he has now made four out of six cuts. Another good week should see him safe and hopefully after his performance at The Heritage he will now start realising just how good a player he is and that he is capable of doing some serious damage.
Graeme McDowell continues to feature at the sharp end and he should not get too frustrated at not quite finishing the job off when he gets in contention. He is learning quicker than any other player I have seen and I fully expect him to be a massive player next season.
There are two very big weeks coming up for several of our players because of the abundance of world ranking points on offer. David Howell, Paul McGinley and Graeme can all reach top 50 status and that would make a massive difference for their 2005 schedules.
Commiserations to our cricketers who narrowly failed to claim the ICC Champions Trophy at The Oval where the West Indies prevailed thanks to a record ninth-wicket performance.
Hopefully the result, achieved by what the visitors did rather than what the hosts did not, will not take the shine off what has been a fantastic year for English cricket. We have made great strides in Test and one-day cricket and Michael Vaughan has turned into a very astute and respected captain.
Unfortunately they are now faced with the tricky issue of whether or not to go to Zimbabwe for a series of limited overs matches before taking on South Africa this winter.
Having played golf in what was Rhodesia and seen what’s happened to the country over the last 25 years, I hope none of them go. They all deserve a rest and I wouldn’t be surprised if several follow Steve Harmison’s lead and elect not to visit.