Long may Niall Horan's love-in with golf continue
Hello. I am here in the glorious sunshine at Wentworth to bring you this special edition of The Slam from the BMW PGA Championship
So what’s the buzz around European Tour HQ this week?
Well they were out in their droves for the celebrities on Wednesday – with bumper crowds following the likes of Rory McIlroy, who teed up alongside three of his Manchester United heroes in Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Teddy Sheringham.
Manchester United’s @carras16 begins retired life with a knock round Wentworth.
The pinpoint accuracy he displayed on the football pitch nowhere to be seen here. pic.twitter.com/2ZWdsecghl
— Alex Perry (@AlexPerryNCG) May 23, 2018
Other than that it’s all the usual faces out here entertaining the punters with their stone-cold wit: Piers Morgan, Dan Walker, Kevin Pietersen, Chris Evans and many more.
But the biggest crowds were saved for former One Direction star Niall Horan, with many classrooms around Surrey today only half full.
I said it the first time he was here in 2015, having been upgraded from Rory McIlroy’s caddie to playing partner, golf really needs people like Horan as an ambassador – and long may it continue.
Hey, if he just gets one or two of these young fans to take up the game, he’s done his job.
Elsewhere the big news is Thomas Bjorn has named his Ryder Cup vice-captains.
The Dane’s extra eyes at Le Golf National will be Robert Karlsson, Lee Westwood, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Luke Donald to his backroom team.
Karlsson we already knew about, while Westwood and Harrington were largely expected. But the additions of McDowell and Donald are particularly surprising.
McDowell told NCG in October that missing the 2016 Ryder Cup “lit a fire under him” and he was determined to make it this year – so it will be a bittersweet event for the Northern Irishman in Paris, especially as it’s over a course on which he has won.
But one thing that really came across is these guys are ready to fight for Europe’s cause and with 26 Ryder Cup appearances and 56 Ryder Cup points between them, Bjorn couldn’t have a better team beside him.
And who knows, perhaps we’re looking at the next six Ryder Cup captains…
And away from Wentworth, as if there wasn’t enough controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s visit to the UK in July, the US president has British diplomats scrambling to find him a celebrity playing partner to play 18 with.
While his predecessor, Barack Obama, was happy to play with then prime minister David Cameron, Trump is understood to want to play alongside a pro. Also, I don’t think Theresa May plays.
One obvious solution would be Rory McIlroy, but the four time major champion has played with Trump before and received a lot of stick for it – including on this very series – so will unlikely put himself through that again.
So the most likely candidate is Sir Nick Faldo, who has been employed by Trump as a course architect.
There’s a lift you wouldn’t want to get stuck in…
Donald, why don’t you delay your visit until next May and get yourself in the pro-am here at Wentworth? Or are you worried you won’t still be president by then?