Alan McManus admits he cannot wait for golf’s Ryder Cup at the end of September – all the more so as someone who has played the Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course.
After snooker golf is the Scot’s greatest sporting love, and the biennial contest between Europe and the United States will be staged in Perthshire later in the month.
Glasgow’s McManus is one of several snooker players past and current with some real golfing pedigree, playing off a handicap as low as five.
Speaking in Shanghai ahead of his match against Ronnie O'Sullivan he said: “When I first played the Centenary Course that will be used it was still called the Monarch’s course. It is a cracking course, though there have been some changes since last time I was there. I know the 18th is harder now for the longer hitters.
“I used to really like the first hole, but we will all be familiar with these holes in a couple of weeks. I can’t wait for it to start, and luckily we [players] are at home, which is a bonus. It is one of the best sporting events to watch for me.
“If I went I certainly would be out on the course rather than in a tent, but to start with there are only the four matches at a time, and then the singles there is so much going on simultaneously so I will happily be watching it on TV.
“I was really pleased Stephen Gallacher got in for his debut, he fully deserved his place having only just missed out and no one is saying it is for political reasons – but it will give it an extra edge having a Scot in the team. There would have been disappointment if he had missed out, as the crowd want a home guy to cheer.
“I have played Stephen Hendry at Gleneagles though on the other courses, but he will have played the Centenary Course a hundred times as a member there for ages. They closed the course a couple of weeks ago, so it should be all set up beautifully.”
The 43-year-old also revealed there were early moves afoot to try and stage a Ryder Cup style contest among snooker’s golfers.
He added: “We have been talking about maybe doing something like that, going to Spain or Portugal and doing an eight v eight for a bit of fun. I reckon Barry Hearn would enjoy seeing that. It might have to be England v the Rest to make it work on the numbers.”
Photograph by Monique Limbos