CLAYTON: The caravan rolls through

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Abraham Ancer followed the Peter Thomson ethos in The Lakes. Image: Getty

The most depressing day in professional golfing is one that a touring pro never sees. It is the morning after everything is over and the show has gone further.

After a year, and sometimes more, of anticipation, the circus eventually rolls into the city on Monday morning to a course prepared within a few centimeters of its life. Both terrain personnel and membership are waiting to show their course and hope that it meets the approval of the players.

Many hope that the scores are not so low because of the perception that low rounds show a weakness in their course, but great players shoot low scores every week, unless the dimensions of the course are distorted in an often self-centered attempt to score around par to have a championship win.

Usually that is something that only left to the arrangers of the US Open.

Peter Thomson thought that even 68s was a fair enough winning score and that the best player of the week should be able to perform with sensible straight-hitting, good irons, skillful putting and powerful enough to reach a few pairs every day.

The tournament week starts with practice rounds and then a pro-am and ends with the highlight of the Sunday evening finish. The players then go to the airport, their next appointment and the next round of anticipation, both theirs and a whole new fate of members.

The quotes from the press conference of winners fill the gaps for the reporters who write the highlights of the game of the day. He visits the party tents of the sponsor and then the maintenance shed to thank the workers who spent the week getting up at three o'clock in the morning to cut the greens and rake the bunkers.

There are occasional members who complain about the disruption of tournaments, but the course they play in the weeks prior to – and after – the event is always better for the extra work. For the staff it is something to work towards and the end result justifies all those long hours that often perform everyday tasks in all kinds of miserable weather.

Not so long after the winning putt has arrived and the trophy has been presented, the dismantlers come in to pull out the stands, the signs, the television towers and tents. The expectation has come and gone and the members wonder when it will return.

The locations for the next five Opens have already been determined (three at The Australian and one at Kingston Heath and Victoria) but the time for The Lakes will come again. It has been an important part of the tournament scene in this country until the 1930s and the matches against the famous American players including Paul Runyan, Harry Cooper, Craig Wood, Leo Diegel and Ky Laffoon.

It was back when players wore ties with white business shirts and the best Australians wanted to play for the crowd at home. Some had undoubtedly even regarded it as a responsibility.

This week it is the turn of the members of Metropolitan to embrace the professional group. The World Cup cast is very different, but a few of The Lakes will be in Melbourne. Matt Kuchar, he of the disappointing Sydney weekend, plays with Kyle Stanley for America. Cameron Smith quietly made the top 10 in The Lakes and he will be better for the tune-up. Teaming Adam Scott with Marc Leishman may have provided a more glamorous combination, but Smith is a great player and hardly the spare tire in the partnership. You can put your house on Smith if you play well in Melbourne.

The Mexican Abraham Ancer, the winner in Sydney, matched exactly the size of Thomson of even 68s and his 65 in the strong wind of Saturday was just as & # 39; s good round as a man can play. Probably the spectators in Melbourne will now be more curious about the pro of a golf country, where their best player so far has been the brilliant LPGA star Lorena Ochoa

This is the week of Metropolitan to shine and the players will very quickly come to the realization that this is the best conditioned course they have received throughout the year. At least the best conditioned course without the benefit of an unlimited budget.

Only Augusta National is not bound by such annoying financial restrictions.

As a Metropolitan member, I have seen how hard the staff has worked to get the course in the state where members can be doubly proud and weeks ago I suggested a few guys on the field staff to relax because it was already on level only dreamed by most.

It will be a nice week. The format of team play is an interruption of the monotony of week-to-week 72-hole medal-game and we do not see many players from all over the world.

And next Monday everything will be over and it will be Royal Royal's turn over 12 months at the President Cup.

It never ends.

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