Day 221: Sporting Break

Fri. 22nd March 2013

Luke's new caddie??We are taking a break from all our sightseeing to concentrate on sporting events for a few days. I am sure Kuala Lumpur has some delights in store for us but they will have to wait. We are lucky to be around Malaysia at the time of the Grand Prix so have bought tickets back in January but we recently found out that the Malaysian Open golf is also happening, thanks to Luke Donald’s comment on Twitter. Twitter does have its uses.

The start of round two at the golf has been delayed, as play was stopped early yesterday due to thunderstorms. We therefore have a leisurely morning before catching the LRT (Tube in UK speak) a few stops along to KL Sentral and then a free shuttle bus to the course (a minibus in which we are the only passengers). Given that we only paid £3 for the tickets, this is a pretty good deal.

Our "private" shuttleWe soon arrive at the KL Golf and Country Club and catch a golf cart to the ticket entrance before passing all the advertising stands and collect our free fan, foam hat and cardboard binoculars – no expense spared. At least the fan worked and gave a good breeze. The girls on the sponsor stands were surprised to see some western faces and once we were on the course the crowd was very sparse. However, it is only Friday and I expect Sunday will be busier.

Lovely course - but a lot of waterThe lack of spectators did mean that we had front row views and the players walked right past us. In the heat it must be tough for the players, with little encouragement at times from the one or two spectators. Some of the caddies were struggling with the heavy bags and the heat and humidity. I would not have liked their job and was not even tempted to help Luke with his.

Padraig practisingA few of the groups did have a small band of followers, especially Schwartzel who was leading at one point. We walked out along the 15th and back on the 14th holes which had views back over the clubhouse and across one of the lakes on the course and then stopped to watch the players going by. Quiros was chatting away in English as he passed but I am not sure if that was the language he had in common with his caddie or for us sat there. We did respond in Spanish! Not my kind of golf course, until I get over my fear of water – does that ever happen?

Schwartzel lining up his puttTo have a break from the heat we adjourned inside for lunch and had a lovely cool beer and pleasant chat with a Yorkshire couple who have recently moved out here. With time before Luke Donald teed off on the revised schedule, two hours later than originally due, we wandered off and watched the players on the driving range and putting greens. We then walked out to the 8th and sat in the shade by the green to watch the groups pass by. We were going to walk further but with the rain clouds gathering and no umbrella we followed Schwartzel home as he was finishing on the 9th.

Blatant breach of no photo rule by allIt was close to Luke’s tee time, followed by Padraig Harrington so we caught a glimpse of them practising and headed for the first tee ready for the start. Luke was last of his group to tee off, just as the rain got heavier which must have been distracting. His ball went left but safe. As we deliberated whether to follow or wait for Padraig to tee off the lightning warning klaxon sounded stopping play. We decided to head off early as it could be a while before play recommences. It turned out that play restarted at 17:45 and so I think that was a good call. We were back at our hotel by then showered and almost ready for supper.

The view of the two towers from our hotel roofBefore heading out we took in the view from the 28th floor of our hotel as the sun was getting low and we could just see the twin towers almost blocked by two enormous cranes. Looking down the evening rush hour was in full flow. We had spotted a Manhattan Fishmarket Restaurant across the road and decided to try that for supper. It was disappointing as Dave’s fish and chips were luke-warm and the vegetables with my salmon were 90% celery – yuck! Pudding of Cappuccino Magnum was yummy.

KL evening trafficNo peace as we had to crack on with the blog as we are likely to be late back for the next two nights as the journey back from the GP to our hotel will be almost two hours.

P.S.  We are now behind with the blog and hope to catch up soon but the GP was worth it and we were late back!!

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