Some call me crazy, but more so than that dingy green jacket or old jug at The Open, it has always been my dream to lift the Wanamaker Trophy and win the PGA Championship.
But unlike nearly every other male golfer, I have a winner’s speech already prepared. Although you might think it rather presumptuous of me, my understanding of sports psychology leads me to believe that, in preparing for an event, one makes it more likely to happen, here it is:
“Boss of the PGA Tour guy, the rules dudes and gals, Tiger Woods, John Daly, fellow golfers everywhere, ladies and gentlemen. Believe me, I am almost as surprised as you are that I’m up here holding this beautiful trophy. As my previous best performance was capturing the men’s invitation day, nine-hole, post-lunch foursomes in partnership with my next door neighbor Pedro, this win has to go down as the biggest of my career and I sincerely hope that it inspires other middle-aged men with unimpressive handicaps to metaphorically reach for the stars (loud applause).
Looking down the list of previous winners engraved here – Jason Day, Nick Price, Jeff Sluman, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus and, who’s this, Yang Yong-eun? Anyway, I’m filled with humility. Incidentally, my last name is Agran with an ‘n’ at the end not an ‘m’ as it’s spelled here. (Turning to one side and in a low voice) Can they fix that before I take it home and put it on the shelf next to the dodgy clock I picked up for being nearest the pin at last year’s spring meeting at Dale Hill?
I must sincerely thank the guys at Top Golf where I practice and my “kinda/sorta sponsor” Par Bar, which was invented by my good friend, Gerry Mullally. They don’t give me money, but they love me! And I’d like also like to thank the PGA’s courage and vision in inviting carefully selected journalists to participate in this the greatest golf tournament in the world. Incidentally, I would like to extend my sympathy to the other three who all failed to break 100 in either of their rounds and consequently missed the cut by a substantial margin. Ordinarily pretty competent golfers, they were obviously hopelessly overwhelmed by the occasion.
I would also like to pay a special tribute to Jordan, who must have thought his four-shot lead going into today’s final round would be sufficient. We had a great ding-dong battle out there, both in regulation play and the playoff, and I was just fortunate that my 40-foot, triple-breaking, birdie putt on the final extra hole found the back of the cup while his seemingly straightforward two-footer surprisingly lipped out. A real turning point in the tournament for me was when I found a VICE Pro Plus in the woods during my final practice round. I played all 72 holes with that sucker, what a ball! And durable too!
There are other people I would like to mention. Jeremy Foskett, who said I would never play decent golf with a strong grip. (Waving trophy) Look at me now, Jeremy! To Nigel ‘Duck Hook’ Armitage, who left me out of the Hendon foxes team for the vital fixture against Finchley in 1989 because he didn’t think I could handle the pressure. (Waving trophy) Look at me now, Nigel! I rarely break 80 so my 66-66-68-68 performance here still a shock to me.
On a more positive note I must thank Mark Wood, the head pro at Dale Hill, for curing my reverse pivot. In winning here today I hope I’ve given encouragement to handicap golfers everywhere. You see, this great game of golf can be mastered. It just takes enormous dedication, application, concentration and a few lucky bounces.
Finally, let me make it clear that I shall not be turning professional or participating in any future European or PGA Tour events. Nor do I wish to be considered for the European Ryder Cup team (loud groans of disappointment). I’ve achieved today all that I have ever wanted to achieve and I shall now withdraw gracefully from competitive golf at the highest level to concentrate on my writing and getting my handicap down to where it should be, which is about 12.
Thank you all very much.” (pulls flask from back pocket and takes swig of whisky)