New Zealand golfer Greg Turner is having a moan – no change there then!
Twice the national champion, outspoken Turner, who has a degree in journalism, had a run-in with tournament officials yesterday after his car was re-routed to clear the way for Tiger Woods’ arrival at the New Zealand Open in Paraparaumu Beach near Wellington.
Turner, a constant thorn in the side of the European Tour and who threatened to boycott the event over increased ticket prices for Woods’ appearance, was delayed entering the course and forced to use a side road.
"I’ve never been madder in my entire life than I was when I arrived,’’ said Turner, who lodged an official complaint with the PGA Tour of Australasia. "Why has the rest of the world has got to stop. ... I understand the need for security but for goodness sake, you’ve got players in official cars just trying to play.
"In 18 years of professional golf I don’t think I’ve ever played in a tournament where the players have been treated worse than this week. I’ve never been more insulted."
Turner wasn’t any happier today but for different reasons. He missed the cut with rounds of 74 and 72, while Woods, making his first appearance in New Zealand, shot a two-over-par 73 for a two-round total of one-over 143, to trail Aussie co-leaders James McLean and Stephen Leaney by eight shots.
Thirteen year old Jae An, the plus-two handicap amateur from Korea made the cut (on the +3 mark) after a second round 74.
"It’s not Tiger’s fault. It’s hard not to sound like you’re getting at him but he’s got nothing to do with it. He’s here playing golf. If you’re having a tournament the other guys have got to be allowed to do their job.’’
In an age where top pro golfers are cossetted with courtesy cars, roped off practice areas, official creches for their children, and paid over £100,000 for being Europe’s 115th best golfer, they should be doing more to encourage the game at grass roots, not whingeing about traffic jams.
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