Much to English cricketer Ben Stokes’ relief, Jordan Spieth has been the talk of the sporting world this week.
In particular, how he squandered a five-stroke lead and an almost certain US Masters victory in one hole.
It was a novel way of marking the 20th anniversary of Greg Norman’s epic Masters choke, when he famously handed the 1996 green jacket to Nick Faldo.
Theories have abounded as to what happened on the 12th hole. I’m thinking Ernie Els played it in a Spieth disguise. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me.
Others say Spieth was distracted by aliens, citing this mysterious orb.,
Whatever it was, Spieth lost and, as defending champion, had the added insult of placing the green jacket on winner Danny Willett’s shoulders.
Willett, who wouldn’t even have been at Augusta had his wife not given birth to son Zach two weeks early, was beside himself.
“It has just been the most ridiculously awesome 12 days,” he said.
While Danny Boy may have won the Masters, it was his brother PJ who stole the show on Twitter, variously razzing Spieth, pleading to the golf gods and sharing embarrassing childhood tidbits about the new Masters champion.
It’s been a bad week for the World Anti-Doping Agency. Having busted 172 athletes, many of them Russian, for using meldonium since it was banned on January 1, WADA has admitted the culprits may actually be… um… well… innocent.
How? Because WADA doesn’t know how long it takes the drug to leave a person’s system. Which is a bit of an oversight. Meaning athletes may be testing positive to the meldonium they legally took last year.
WADA is now recommending that some bans be overturned. Whether that applies to tennis star Maria Sharapova, who never read the memo about the ban in the first place, is unclear.
Aussie cyclist Mathew Hayman should break his arm more often. In his first major race barely a month after fracturing his radius, Hayman won the coveted Paris-Roubaix and this delightful trophy.
Should come in handy should he ever need to make house repairs.
At the national swimming championships, Cameron McEvoy became the first Aussie fella to win the 50-metre, 100-metre and 200-metre freestyle crowns, in between studying to be an astronaut.
Grant Hackett, one of the many he left in his wake, marvelled at McEvoy’s efforts. “It’s like watching Usain Bolt in water,” he said.
McEvoy wears his astrophysical heart on his swimming cap, explaining that the squiggle on his noggin is the ‘noise of two black holes colliding somewhere a billion light years away’.
Aussie Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was busy selling Australian Rules football to the Chinese this week.
Announcing that an AFL premiership match will be played in Shanghai next year, Turnbull waxed poetic about the code.
“It is the leaping, jumping, flying game, where the big men fly,” he said.
It may be a tough sell, though. China’s sights are on global domination of the round ball game. This week it unveiled a plan to become a world football superpower by 2050, complete with 70,000 pitches to be put in place over the next four years.
On the subject of soccer, here’s the worst way for a goalie to bend it like Beckham.
Bringing up his 100th day as Real Madrid manager, former French international Zinedine Zidane was in wax-on, wax-off zen Buddha mode.
“You should not go crazy, as anything can happen in football,” he said. “I never lost my head as a player, and will never do so as a coach.”
There was that one time, though, Zin. Do you remember? The last international you ever played. Meaningless little game, easy to forget. Just a World Cup final.
Finally, watch what happens when some Bulgarian soccer players try to get a wading pool of water off the pitch.
Have a good weekend, everyone. Make a splash.