Regular readers will know that we enjoy a round of golf, but as of late have not been playing anywhere near as frequently as we would wish. We'll never be especially good, but it's good, healthy exercise, even though golf is, as Mark Twain so eloquently put it "a good walk spoiled". And so, as a golfer of mediocre ability, we can appreciate this guy - read on:
Ali Ahmad Fazel is returning to Afghanistan confident in his dream of becoming a professional golfer despite finishing last at the Asian Games, a massive 194 shots off the lead.
The diminutive 19-year-old fired a 40-over-par 112 in the fourth and final round, a marked improvement on his opening 58-over-par round of 130. His four-round total was an eye-watering 467, well off the winning 273 posted by South Korea's gold medallist Kim Meen-Whee.
''My goal is to become a professional golfer,'' promised Fazel. ''I'm not sure how long that will take, maybe five years, but I'll work and work at it.''
Wearing a green cap, well-ironed light jeans and a white polo shirt with ''Kabul Golf Club, Afghanistan'' emblazoned on it, Fazel admitted that the lush surrounds of the plush Dragon Lake golf course were not like his home club.
''It's my first time playing on grass, so I'm happy with my performance,'' said the youngster, who is jobless while waiting to take up a university place.
Full marks to Ali Ahmad Fazel for fronting up at the Asian Games, and for counting every shot that he struck. If nothing else, golf is a game of honesty and integrity, and Fazel can walk away with his head held high, even if his best score was even worse than our worst score on any Wednesday haggle this year. Let's hope that he gets the opportunity to play on grass a bit more frequently; after all it's a world away from the sandy fairways and sand-and-oil greens of his home course, upon which both we and Tiger would possibly struggle!