Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Graeme McDowell set to fly even higher

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell

Part Two of Billy Weir’s alternative view as to what might, or might not, happen in the world of sport this year

JULY

1-13: Copa America begins, giving Ossie Ardiles something to do as everyone watching Sky’s coverage wonders what he’s saying and can’t help thinking about Chas ‘N’ Dave, trembly knees and Tottingham.

2: In a real surprise at Wimbledon, Ladies Finals Day sees the two Williams’ sisters abandon tradition and settle the destiny of the trophy with an arm-wrestling bout followed by who can drink a pint of Robinson’s Barley Water the quickest.

2-24: Tour de France starts from the Alpine resort of Val De Castlederg. Mark Cavendish sprints to early victory on board a specially modified Grifter that he bought from his mate Marshall in only 158 weekly parts (first week £1.99, £100 per week thereafter)

3: It’s the turn of the men at Wimbledon and in a real turn-up, world No 10 Mikhail Youznhy defeats world No 11 Jurgen Melzer in front of a crowd of 167 who haven’t heard of either of them.

10: Mark Cavendish wins another sprint in the Tour de France but complains he’s getting a wee bit tired and may go home soon.

17: Graeme McDowell, or Lord G-Mac of Rathmore as he prefers to be called, wins The Open. Americans, and other stupid people, are immediately slapped into place for calling it the British Open. Lee Westwood makes the cut and is installed as favourite for Sports Personality of the Year.

17: Paddy Bradley returns for Derry as they take on Cavan in Ulster Football Final but Gregory Campbell withdraws the Oak Leafs arguing that Cavan isn’t part of the Ulster he knows and loves.

24: The Women’s Masters golf is played at Evian Les-Bains. Frankie Boyle is thrown off the organising committee for selecting an inappropriate course.

24: Alberto Contador wins Tour de France and is immediately disqualified for having traces of suspect vegetable roll he picked up in Castlederg.

AUGUST

4-7: Tiger Woods ends his title drought with an unexpected victory. He admits he thought he was in difficulty when the ball didn’t go through the wee windmill at first attempt. Graeme McDowell wins the WGC-Bridgestone International.

7: Jessica Ennis comes fourth in the long jump and seventh in the javelin at Diamond League meeting at Crystal Palace. Her engagement to Prince Harry is imminent, say royal watchers.

7: The Community Shield. No-one cared when it was the Charity Shield and they care even less now.

10: In an effort to wind up the Faroe Islands ahead of the European Championship qualifier at Windsor Park, Mark Sidebottom greets Brian Kerr dressed as a mummy and sitting on a camel at Aldergrove.

13: Start of the Premier League season. Roy Hodgson prepares his men for the new season vowing to take the division by storm, starting with a trip to Bournemouth as the Championship kicks off too.

14: The exciting end to the World Badminton Championships is disrupted by animal rights protestors who complain that even though the budgie is dead there’s no need to prolong its’ agony any longer by hitting it back and forward over a net.

21: Tyrone defeat Down in the first All-Ireland football semi-final despite having to avoid an avalanche on the outskirts of Castlederg.

27: The Wakefield Wildcats beat the Leeds Rhinos in the daftest rugby league name competition at Wembley.

28: Derry, with Gregory Campbell back at the helm, are inspired to victory by the recalled Anthony Tohill and Joe Brolly, who is spotted making rude gestures towards Pat Spillane after the defeat of Kerry.

SEPTEMBER

1-4: The Burghley Horse Trials are thrown into disarray when one of the competitors is caught in possession of a false hyphen. They are immediately ejected and handed a seat in the House of Lords.

2: Andy Murray starts with an emphatic straight sets win over qualifier C. Richard in the opening round of the US Open.

6: England lose 4-0 to Wales at Wembley thanks to Ryan Giggs hat-trick and a late penalty from Robbie Savage. Fabio Capello is thrown into the Thames, the word ‘Italian’ is banned by the government and James Corden (pictured) becomes new manager.

9: Be afraid, the Rugby World Cup gets under way and will last for months. New Zealand treat Tonga very badly in the opening pool game and nothing of any interest is scheduled to happen for at least four weeks.

11: After several top 10 players mysteriously disappear, Andy Murray wins his first grand slam title at Flushing Meadow with a tie-break victory over Jimmy Connors. The NYPD want to talk to a slightly scary-looking woman with flame-red hair and a funny accent.

18: All-Ireland Final Day starts in uproar with Gregory Campbell insisting that the Artane Boy’s Band plays a selection of party tunes, resulting in a riot. Stephen O’Neill scores winning goal and says it’s almost as memorable as scoring against Armagh City when he played for Ballymena United.

16-18: Andy Murray and the GB team are brought back down to earth when they lose 3-0 to Rathlin Island in the Davis Cup.

19-25: The World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships are disrupted a Labrador pup runs amok and steals the stupid toi

let roll on a stick while a 14-year-old Chinese competitor is disqualified after she is caught being brought to the event in a pushchair.

28: The Rugby World Cup hots up with the one we’ve all been waiting for – Georgia v Romania.

OCTOBER

1: Ireland trounce Italy 6-3 in the game to decide second spot in Pool C. George Hook winds up the Italians by coming dressed as Russell Crowe but this backfires as most of the Italians are in fact as Italian as Russell Crowe.

2: Graeme McDowell wins the Alfred Dunhill Links Championships as Arctic conditions grip Scotland’s east coast. Hazel Irvine skins a polar bear to keep warm.

9: South Africa take on Ireland in the World Cup quarter-final in Wellington. Womble activists disrupt the event and in the confusion a Stephen Ferris try, assisted by Madame Cholet, settles the match. George Hook is kidnapped by Womblists, ransom still unpaid.

11: Northern Ireland take on Italy in Rome in a winner-takes-all Group C decider. The Fabio Capello-managed Azzurri have no answer to Nigel Worthington’s men with a Graeme McDowell goal and one from David Healy, his first goal since his last one, mean we’re off to wherever the finals are being played. Near Russia.

15: Somehow Wales manage to beat Australia to set up semi-final clash with Ireland. Katherine Jenkins is wheeled out at Eden Park, Ireland retaliate with Dana, and in the confusion a Stephen Ferris drop goal seals a narrow win.

16-23: The European Women’s Boxing Championships. Being held at Laverys.

20: International Rules Test in Australia. The United Nations is called in as Gregory Campbell’s Ireland side annex New South Wales and declare it the New Orange Free State.

23: Ireland defeat hosts New Zealand 66-0 as the golden generation come of age at last. Brian O’Driscoll replaces Brian Cowen as the Taoiseach and Stephen Ferris becomes First Minister at Stormont.

30: Home winner Jenson Kumar wins the Indian Grand Prix but is disqualified when he is found to have 134 other passengers in the car.

NOVEMBER

3-6: Fresh from his goal-scoring antics, Graeme McDowell wins the WGC-HSBC Championship despite being handed the worst possible selection of Scrabble tiles.

6: Paula Radcliffe leaves childbirth to finish second in the New York Marathon and is installed as second favourite for Sports Personality of the Year.

11-13: The Rally of Great Britain. Sebastien Loeb exits the race at the Liverpool stage when he stops to ask for directions and loses three wheels, his spoiler and a Magic Tree.

15: Scotland beat England in Euro 2012 play-offs at Hampden Park. Scotland declares independence, fans invade the pitch, rip down the goalposts and the enforced wearing of tartan is introduced for anyone who doesn’t like Irn Bru.

19: New Irish League season kicks off after the worst autumn snows in living memory. Angie Phillips is elected new president of the Irish FA.

27: Having secured the world title back in August, Sebastian Vettel comes to the final grand prix of the season in Brazil driving a bogie made out of an old banana box, four pram wheels and piece of a string. Edges out Lewis Hamilton (pictured) for a podium place.

27: Rory McIlroy partners Graeme McDowell to victory at the World Cup, beating England in the final after Lee Westwood is dazzled by Ian Poulter’s trousers in the sudden death play-off. The English heroes are now joint favourites for Sports Personality of the year.

28: Croatia win Davis Cup by default after the Rathlin Island team is left stranded with the cancellation of the Ballycastle ferry due to dangerously high dulse levels.

DECEMBER

1: The long-awaited clash between David Haye and the Klitschko brothers takes place with a tag-team event at Wembley. Haye and partner Rocky Balboa win in the 15th round. Audley Harrison beats Susan Boyle on points to win British title.

3: The World Sailing Championships. With the Olympics coming up fast on the starboard side it’s time for the BBC to pretend that anyone who doesn’t own a stripy jumper really cares.

8-11: The Race to Dubai ends with Graeme McDowell winning the World Championship. Paul Casey comes ninth, made joint favourite with Jessica Ennis for Sports Personality of the Year.

15: Start of the PDC World Darts Championship. A miffed Phil Taylor lays down a marker with 15 nine-dart finishes. Sid Waddell explodes.

17: Tom Daley, now 32, passes his mock GCSEs.

18: Sports Personality of the Year. Drama as Sue Barker is crushed by James Corden when an hilarious sketch goes tragically wrong. Despite polling 93 per cent of the vote, Graeme McDowell is overlooked for the top prize again as Jessica Ennis edges out Ben Ainslie and Beth Tweddle.

22: Angie Phillips announces that as polar bears are now being spotted in Castlederg, the IFA is to suspend all matches until further notice.

24: Liverpool lose to Brighton and Hove Albion in a crucial six-pointer. Roy Hodgson is sacked, John Barnes is installed as new manager, assisted by Nerys Hughes and the cast of Bread.

31: Sir Alex Ferguson, on the day of his 70th birthday, announces his shock retirement from the game. Becomes the new presenter of Match of the Day. Gabby Logan takes over at Old Trafford.

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