Future Endeavors…The Trifecta.
A whirlwind month of sports television got me thinking big. Some of my best plans have come from these brainstorms because I don’t spend much energy daydreaming of things that will never become reality. Typically, I grow a wild hair, my husband and I negotiate and if all goes well, a trip ensues. After looking across the pond for a month via my TV a definite hair has sprung.
In travel, timing is everything. I like to time my travel with a good sporting event or two if I can swing it. For example, last year I traveled to New York for the U.S. Tennis Open. It just so happened that the Barclay’s Golf Tournament was taking place at Beth Page Black. And so, a weekend in the city turned into a weekend of sports in the city. The “how to” on that trip is for a later post. I digress…
After years of watching three of my favorite sporting events, I realized not only did Wimbledon, the Open Championship and the Tour De France take place on the same continent, they take place at relatively the same time. I admit, even for me this plan is big, a quest of sorts for a sports holy grail. Is it possible for to pull off the trifecta?
I punched some numbers into the old calendar and here’s what I came up with:
June 23rd (day after my birthday) – Wimbledon begins
July 5th – Le Tour de France begins
July 6th – Wimbledon Men’s Championship, Wimbledon ends
July 17th – 20th – The Open Championship
July 26th – Le Tour de France ends
Now in order to achieve the trifecta, my trip would have to be timed just right. There would have to be some sacrifices made and a little luck would have to go my way. It just so happens that the first three stages of Le Tour next year take place in England. For the first time ever the Grand Depart will be located in Yorkshire with the third stage in London. This would lend nicely to the timing aspect as I would need to take in Wimbledon towards the end of the fortnight. Everything would be centrally located for the first leg of the trip. Wimbledon will be the tricky part and with only a few matches to go tickets will be at a premium. If it’s not humanly possible to attend the men’s or women’s final, I’ll take just sitting on Henman Hill. If Andy Murray were defending his title then people watching would be sport enough.
On that note, could one person have endured more pressure in men’s tennis than Andy Murray? I could feel it oozing through my TV and yet he never cracked, knew what he had to do and took out Novak in straight sets. Straight sets! Most definitely the most nerve racking sporting event of the year so far.
Chris Froome wins Stage 15 and conquers Mont Ventoux
Next, a short Chunnel ride to France would allow for at least one mountain stage of the Tour. This year, much like in years past, the Tour was won in the mountains. Chris Froome took the Yellow Jersey by winning stage 8 in the Pyrenees. He solidified his victory with another win at the summit of Mont Ventoux which he acknowledged as one of the most satisfying wins of his career. Adding a victory in the individual time trial, Chris Froome proved to be the best overall contender by five minutes over his closest competitor Nairo Quintana. With several excellent young riders challenging, next year’s Tour is looking to leave the doping scandals of the past in it’s dust. No one could have predicted the success of the young Colombian rider Quintana and the rivalry between him and Froome should provide some epic battles on next year’s mountaintop finishes. I plan to be at one.
Now, back across The Channel to Royal Liverpool and the 143rd edition of The Open Championship.
The Champion Golfer of 2013
Being a fan of Augusta National, I never thought of links golf as my speed. It’s the trees stupid! Watching Phil wrap his club around those Georgia pines at the par five 13 is my kind of golf. I also know, that it is his too. No one will ever be able to recreate what happened on the second nine on Sunday at Muirfield, not even Phil the Thrill. Just ask a tearful Jim “Bones” Mackay, Phil Mickelson’s caddy of 21 years who said it was, “the best round of golf I’ve ever seen him play.” Lefty said he didn’t care how he got it (the trophy) but he went out and did it with “one of the best rounds of his career. ” If I can be there to watch the champion golfer of the year walk past the adoring galleries at the oldest major in golf I’ll take it. Not to mention, Royal Liverpool is located on the Wirral Peninsula in the Irish Sea. After some initial research I have learned that Wirral, also known as England’s Golf Coast, is home to three Open Championship courses and has much to offer in the way of five star accommodations and Michelin Star eating. Liverpool is also the birthplace of some band I’ve heard of before, any guesses?
So there it is, a plan is hatched. I will keep you posted on it’s progress. During the initial negotiations a secondary, simpler plan was also discussed, the 2014 U.S. Open Championship at Pinehurst Number 2. In 1999 Pinehurst was home to the US Open, one that saw Payne Stewart defeat Phil by one stroke only four months before his tragic death. That trip would be slightly different, one in search of the “slam”, not the trifecta. As Phil said, “if six seconds equaled one win, I’d have all four of ’em.” That’s a great way to look at it, maybe I should adjust my travel expectations and follow his lead. Or not…