You’ve probably noticed that there’s been a fair bit of rain recently.

In fact, even those sodden clouds that have been flinging great biblical torrents down on us actually look quite bored with it all now.

Go on, lift your weary head up to the heavens and what do you see? That’s right, some pretty fed up clouds that are lolling around with the kind of stuck-in-a-rut sense of ennui you get with a sighing office worker chewing on a pen lid.

It’s got to the point where these heavily laden, morale-sapping clumps that have been hanging about for days on end are so damp, they’re beginning to rust round the edges like the wheel arches of an old Austin Allegro.

The National:

What with low pressure systems barrelling in here and tightly-packed isobars birling about there, the general moistness has just about led to this column appearing on papier mache.

At least the global goings-on in the golfing world give us a much-needed glimpse of some sunnier, warmer climes. Can you get a vitamin D boost by simply pressing your face up against the screen while there’s golf on the telly? Having tried it, I can categorically state that no, you cannot.

Anyway, while Adam Scott was winning the Genesis Invitational in LA, and Tiger Woods finished last in the event he was hosting, the success of the remarkable Inbee Park over in Australia was another significant milestone in a shimmering career packed full of them.

The Korean’s triumph in the Women’s Australian Open was her 20th LPGA Tour win and a first in almost two years. It was a particularly timely one too in the wider context of her campaign.

The National:

The next three events on the LPGA’s schedule were set to take place in Thailand, Singapore and China but they have all been cancelled due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

In Park’s efforts to qualify for this summer’s Olympics – she will be defending the women’s title – getting an early victory before this enforced hiatus was vital to her plans.

As we all know, the strength in depth of Korean female golf is as deep as a chin-stroking blether between Socrates and Aristotle and, prior to her weekend win, the four automatic spots for the Tokyo Games were already occupied by a quartet of her high-flying compatriots.

Park had even conceded that getting into the four-woman team this year would actually be harder than winning a medal.

Like she has done numerous times in the past, though, the indefatigable 31-year-old delivered the goods when it mattered most as she bolstered her push for an Olympic encore.

Her gold rush in Rio four years ago remains, perhaps, her greatest triumph during an eight-year period of pomp between 2008 and 2016 in which she also won seven majors, a hefty haul unrivalled in the world of golf.

During a 2016 of toil and trouble, however, crippling back and hand injuries meant she hadn’t made a cut on the LPGA Tour for four months and hadn’t broken 70 for even longer.

The National:

She was forced to withdraw from a variety of majors while her Rio place was under serious scrutiny. Koreans revere women golfers. Olympic athletes, meanwhile, are afforded the kind of veneration that just about sees them perched on their own ornate, marble plinth.

In that respect, Park was probably under more pressure than any Korean to perform in Brazil. That she ended up winning the Olympic title by five shots underlined her defiant majesty.

Park has always been a fascinating character. Her down-to-earth nature was displayed to a Scottish audience back in 2013 when she arrived in St Andrews for the Women’s British Open having already won the first three majors of that year.

Surrounded by golfing history, lore and legend in the cradle of the game, Park’s senses were stirred by altogether different offerings.

“I love British breakfasts where there are sausages and bacon,” drooled the career-grand-slam winner in an admission that was something of a refreshing change from all the joyless, dietary declarations spouted by some pious, twig-munching mantis.

The National:

With a swing that has the smoothness and timing of a metronome and an ability to gobble up vital putts with clinical efficiency, Park has started 2020 with considerable gusto.

She has already stated that retirement will come sooner rather than later.

For the time being, though, one of golf’s greatest ever players is savouring another silver lining.

If only we could do the same as we peer forlornly at those bloomin’ clouds, eh?


These days, there are more professional tours than you can shake a stick at. And there’s probably a mini-circuit for stick shoogling somewhere.

An event on the third-tier Pro Golf Tour last week attracted a field of 168 players over two courses.

In an era when the amateur-to-professional turnover has never been greater, the scale of that particular entry underlined the sheer number of players trying to gain some kind of foothold in the paid ranks.

Some will make it, hundreds will flounder. It’s a daunting and perilous business.