World Match Play Championship - Sept. 2006

In September I flew to England for five days to attend this golf tournament which was held at the Wentworth Club, of which Katie and Tim are members. Many of the world's top players were there, but many of them got knocked out in the first round including Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk and David Howell. Nonethess it was an enjoyable time. The eventual winner was Paul Casey, who beat Shaun Micheel in the finals. Here are a few pictures.

The first day I was there, Wednesday, was the pro-am, so there weren't many spectators. We went to the twelfth green-thirteenth tee with Katie's friends Athene and her husband Nigel, below. (Nigel is himself a scratch golfer and a frequent partner of the top pros; Athene is an anesthesiologist.) Athene and Nigel threw a fabulous party Saturday night; I spent a long time talking to the golfer David Howell who was one of the guests. At the time of the party David was leading the European Order of Merit (money-list) but he was overtaken at this tournament by Casey, whose first-place finish brought him a prize of 1,000,000 pounds.

Here are pictures of some of the golfers we saw that afternoon:

That's Jim Furyk bending over to mark his ball on the green. Here he is on the tee:

And here he is with his caddy, Fluff:

Tim Clark:

Below, a couple of pictures of Retief Goosen:

And the eventual winner, Paul Casey:

Then Tiger appeared on the scene. He had hit his second shot on the par-five twelfth way right. His  long pitch to the green wound up a foot from the cup!

After tapping in for his birdie, he made his way to the tee with his caddie Steve:

Then Ernie Els appeared on the green. Here he is putting:

Ernie greeted us warmly: He's a frequent golf partner or Nigel's and he and Katie know each other pretty well because they work out together at the Wentworth Club's gym. (Ernie lives on the Wentworth estate, and Katie and Tim's house in Sunningdale is about 15 minutes away.)

Katie introduced me to Ernie, and he was happy to pose for a picture:

Katie is also friendly with Ernie's wife, Liezl, from the Wentworth gym. Here they are by the 13th green:

A view down the 13th fairway, showing some of the spectators: As you can see, there aren't that many there for the pro-am. By the next day the course was mobbed (and of course cameras were banned).


Here are Zach and Nick absorbed by TV:

Saturday morning I went to Zach's soccer game instead of the golf. Here's Zach with one of his teammates, and below that the two fathers:

Nick was an interested spectator:

I was asked to take the official team photograph, as the person who was supposed to do it forgot to bring his camera!

On the way home we stopped for drive-in at MacDonalds, and guess who used to live on that spot?