Royal Melbourne has been closed to its members since Thursday last week. All is in readiness for the biggest golfing event in Australia for 13 years – the last time the Presidents Cup was held in here.
Bids has been working at Royal Melbourne for the past couple of months working on and off course to ensure the Presidents Cup runs as smoothly as possible. I caught up with him on the eve of the competition start day.
Lenny: Bids, thanks for your time during this busy week, I understand you have been exceptionally busy this past few weeks with the Presidents Cup?
Bids: Yes, exceptionally busy, working on no sleep but still feeling good.
Lenny: What is the atmosphere like at Royal Melbourne?
Bids: Massive buzz now on the eve of the Tournament. The course looks amazing; now that it’s here everyone can’t wait for it to begin.
Lenny: What will the fans get to see this week?
Bids: They are going to see 24 of the best golfers in the world. The fact that it’s a team event, you can see at the press conferences I have been at this week, the passion coming out from the players about being here. This is a unique week of golf, the players are representing more than just themselves and I think the two captains, Greg Norman and Fred Couples are at the forefront generating this passion.
Lenny: How close have you been to the stars in their preparations this week?
Bids: Ummmm, today for instance I was 2-3 meters behing Tiger on the driving range. Adam Scott was hitting drives that were just flying. I have sat in on the press conferences of Jason Day, KJ Choi, Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan and Nick Watney. Plus all the other golfing greats that are everywhere, Jack Newton, Craig Parry and of course Greg Norman.
Lenny: Which golfers have had the most media interest in them?
Bids: Tiger for sure. When the US team were on the range the crowd and cameras just descend on Tiger. Phil Mickleson, and Adam Scott and then the Captains have had most of the interest in them.
Lenny: Is the media contingent mostly local or international?
Bids: It’s a massive mix. The most international media is from the US.
Lenny: What will be your role throughout the tournament?
Bids: I am part of the Tournament Operations team. I could be driving a buggy round the course to pick up a captain or I could be delivering more programs and guides to another part of the course, I am also the Media Liaison working with the media to assist and provide access where necessary.
Lenny: Will you be able to watch some or the golf or will you be working all week?
Bids: Will definitely be able to watch for sure. Any spare moment will be spent taking in the golf.
Lenny: What are you looking forward to most about the week?
Bids: Seeing some incredible golf.
Lenny: Give me something better than that...a prediction?
Bids: Pretty close, Internationals just, 18-16...
Lenny: Do you get to have a hit on the course?
Bids: Already have. I was brilliant. Greg should probably have picked me.
Lenny: Typical response from you, thanks mate.
This is the 9th edition of the Presidents Cup and there is no doubt it is growing in stature. The American team is certainly more serious that it was the last time they played at Royal Melbourne – the sole victory for the Internationals in the history of the event.
Having been in Europe for the Ryder Cup, I can only hope that the rest of Australia and indeed the other nations with representatives here will get behind the Internationals in the same way the Europeans get behind their team.
Team events provide a unique reward in an individual sport. For individual stars that are used to looking around at their coach or loved ones to share in their glory, the different emotions they will experience after winning or losing is with a peer provides a new insight into the character of our favourite golfers.
Let’s hope for a brilliant four days of golf and some exciting roars from around the course at Royal Melbourne this week.