Kaufman Blog: Plaudits for young Gavin

Thu 27 Jun 2013

Kaufman Blog: Plaudits for young Gavin

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By Richard Kaufman
We all like a good moan at times, don’t we? Poor old me, going to work jet-lagged! Get a life!
Sometimes you can get so caught up in your own self-pity you don’t know how lucky you are.
So after flying back from Malaysia and the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters to London, I was back at work within 24 hours of touching down. No need for a flight to get to this sporting event... I’m at the Wimbledon tennis championships.
And before I get back to life on the Asian Tour, I will be at some other great sporting occasions ... the Solheim Cup, the badminton World Championships and my favourite event of the year... the Open Championship.
No doubt at Muirfield, I will be championing the cause of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and the other golfers from the continent to a world-wide audience on @TheOpen Radio. I remember last year at Lytham feeling a sense of pride when Anirban Lahiri was tearing it up.
Not everything in golf this year has been totally positive. Certain things at the Masters left a bit of a sour taste in the mouth. But golf is by far the only game where the best players don’t always behave or act as they should or try and stretch the rules.
Already at Wimbledon I witnessed a player pull out in the fifth set with, wait for it.... tiredness!! And he still picked up a cheque of more than $30,000! When I am commentating on the English Premier League football, winning at all costs is often the mantra. Diving, feigning injury... if it gets your team three points, then so be it!
Which brings me to the events in Selangor last week. I remember when I was 19 years old, albeit it was too long ago, I am pretty certain I wouldn’t have acted as admirably as Gavin Green did when I was his age.
Two shots off the lead and with a birdie putt on the 11th. History potentially beckoned for the Malaysian amateur as he stood over a 10 footer. He backed off, claiming he think his ball had moved.
Our TV pictures certainly couldn’t see any movement of the ball but Gavin knew and promptly called a penalty on himself. Now of course, Green is hardly the first golfer to have acted as admirably as this.
But bear in mind his age and the circumstances of where we were in the tournament, it deserves to be applauded. A pat on the back from eventual winner Pariya Junhasavasdikul as he walked off the 11th green shows what his peers felt about it.
Centre court and some strawberries and cream are waiting along with some great sport events over the next few weeks and months. There’ll be no complaints from me. I certainly won’t be putting down my microphone before plays over citing fatigue.
And as much fun as this will be, I will be excited to return to the special spirit that exists on the Asian Tour where camaraderie and sportsmanship are to the fore.
Note: Richard is a TV commentator on the Asian Tour and also commentates on numerous other leading sporting events around the world.