Friday, June 11, 2010

An 'all black' day for four on the greens‏

It's just as well the All Blacks are playing the Irish at rugby in New Plymouth on Saturday night.
If it were golf, they wouldn't stand a chance judging by their play at the Ngamotu links on a brilliant, sunny day yesterday.

The four players we tracked for a few holes were far better under the high ball than trying to control a golf ball.
Not that they couldn't smack it off the tee – it's just that they didn't always know where the little white thing was going.

For All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, Conrad Smith, Mils Muliaina and Richard Kahui, a round of golf was time out from rugby – definitely not a way to make a living.

"It's about the money, not about the score," said McCaw said after coming off the fifth green. "It's good to get out and play on our day off ... forget about rugby for a few hours and have a bit of fun. It's a great day, but when you guys turned up, our golf went to pieces."

That's for sure. The 18 handicapper shanked his tee shot out of bounds on the par three sixth, with the ball last seen flying towards the nearby sewage plant. The others weren't much better. Smith, who also plays on an 18, hooked his left of the trees, eight-handicapper Kahui found the bunker and 21-handicapper Muliaina dropped his in the lake. Muliaina's second attempt at getting over the water was no better, with another taking a dip. Throw in a bunker and he walked away with a nine.

Smith's five looked pretty good on the scorecard. On to the par-five eighth. Out of bounds for Muliaina, eventually ending up with a nine, while the others all had putts for par – Smith the only one to hole out.

Another par five, the eighth. Looks easy. Four tee shots, only McCaw in play, with the other three over the fence. Reloading, Kahui, Smith and Muliaina end up in good shape. Then things turn to custard. McCaw's second hits a tree and ricochets backwards, then the next flies over the fence – and so does the next – and the others go from bad to worse. Let's just say Smith's eight was good.

"It's just as well it's a nice day. This is stressful. We were playing well before you got here," said Muliaina.
Kahui agreed. "On a beautiful day like this, it's tough to say no to a round of golf."

For sanity's sake, we departed on the par three ninth as two headed left and the other two right.

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