Colin Montgomerie successfully defended his Senior Masters title at the immaculate Woburn Golf Club, destroying the field by 10 clear shots. I’m not one to lavish superlatives on players, but his performance was imperious, leading from start (he birdied his first hole) to finish.
Woburn is a venue that traditionally attracts large crowds – its location in the Home Counties is a major factor – and the galleries this year were again big and enthusiastic. The players appreciate the knowledgeable support they get as they look to overcome the considerable challenges offered by the Duke’s course – only 6 of the 72 players broke par.
Many of you receiving my tournament reports have asked how I go about my work as chaplain. Perhaps if I outline my modus operandi at Woburn, it will give you as better understanding:
I arrived on Wednesday pm, the final free practice day. My first port of call was the Championship office to let the officials there know that I’ve arrived. They willingly posted a notice for me on the players’ noticeboard. That afternoon I visited the practice facilities and struck up conversations with a number of players and caddies – mainly about golf, their form, etc but also to let them know of my general availability. On Wednesday evening I held the Bible study, continuing the series on the ‘I am’ statements of Jesus, and focussing on Him being the Good Shepherd.
Thursday was the day of the Pro-Am, where corporate executives get their opportunity to play with the pros. It’s quite a hectic day with only a few chances to get quality time with individuals. The players ended their day with dinner at Woburn Abbey with the Duke of Bedford – I retreated to my rather modest B&B in Leighton Buzzard!
Friday was the first day of competition, with players teeing off from 8.00am onwards. I was adjacent to the first tee at 7.45am and then spent the rest of the morning fluctuating from the first tee to the practice putting green. I made a point of being at the first tee to greet those players that I know best (it’s inevitable that I get to chat to some more than others as some are more supportive of my work than others!) and to be visible to them as their round progressed. I left the course to travel home on Friday afternoon.
Please pray for:
Steve who is on a journey which, God willing, will lead to faith;
Hendrik who returns to the tour next week in Moscow after being below the qualifying line for a number of weeks;
Steve VV who again misses out and whose future on the Senior Tour becomes increasingly uncertain.
I’m in the process of working out when my next tournament will be – possibly Amsterdam (involving just a day visit) or Nice. Thank you again for your ongoing support.
Allan Gray, Logos Golf Ministries Chaplain to the European Seniors Tour