TMQB: sport is a complete bastard

In honour of Lydia Ko’s double bogey, triple bogey finish at the LPGA tour-sanctioned New Zealand Women’s Golf Open at Windross Farm near Auckland, this week’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback is all over the place.

Some random thoughts from the weekend, then:

Golf is clearly a right bastard of game. Our Lyds certainly didn’t say this in any of her well-manicured press appearances over the course of the tournament she ‘hosted’, but she must have thought it.

The strangely few shots the television audience saw of our national hero in action seemed to largely involve her golfing her ball into terrific position on a green and then sliding a put comfortably past the edge of a hole. Even allowing for the fact her putting just now isn’t exactly awesome, Ko was in position to notch a not-too-shabby third or fourth place finish with just two of her 72 holes to play.

In the space of a few tortuous minutes, all the hard work of the previous four-and-a-half days went out the window. Tied for 22nd is not a finish Ko or her army of fans will have envisaged.

Perhaps the only saving grace for Ko is that she is not Belen Mozo, the Spaniard who led into the final day after stringing together three of the best rounds of her life before shooting a final round six over par to drift out of contention as nasty weather hit the course on Sunday and Monday.

Mozo – who would have been declared the winner had the fourth round been abandoned altogether – was not amused after almost being struck by a piece of flying signage.

Moving on from golf, rugby’s new high tackle laws appear to have created a somewhat unexpected phenomena: players being delighted to be yellow carded.

After giving referee Jaco Peyper a thankful pat on the back, All Blacks captain Kieran Reid practically skipped off the field in joy after seeing yellow for a high tackle against Argentina. Reid’s tackle was determined to have hit the ball carrier in the neck area with “medium force”. Had the impact been on the chin area with a shade more force, Reid would have been gone for good.

There were millimetres in it – something Reid was clearly acutely aware of as he petitioned Peyper with a ‘come on mate, aw shucks give us a break shrug’ before trotting jubilantly to the sideline.

Finally, if ever any more evidence was needed that sport can be a right cruel bastard, then Shaun Fensom’s broken leg three minutes into the grand final was it. A classic journeyman, Fensom had toiled away in the NRL for seven years before he got his shot at playing in a grand final.

His dream come true lasted just over 180 seconds before it was shattered along with the bones in his lower leg. The poor bugger wasn’t even afforded the dignity of copping the horrific injury while taking a storming hitup or putting in a huge tackle. Instead he missed a tackle on Jesse Bromwich and was cleaned up by a team mate as he tried to get back and cover.

Not much of a grand final story for the grand kids, that’s for sure.

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