Tabb's a Course Celeb
Tuesday, 11th Feb 2014 06:00
Midfielder Jay Tabb is one of Town’s most enthusiastic golfers and has twice rubbed shoulders with some true giants of the game, as well as playing in more modest company closer to home.
Tabb, who has joined Ipswich Golf Club since his arrival at Portman Road last year, was fortunate to be included in the field for the BMW Open celebrity pro-am tournament at Wentworth in both 2012 and 2013.
He said: “It just so happens that the guy who organises it is a Reading fan and he got me in. I sent an email in with an enquiry and I was lucky it landed on his desk. You can’t buy your way in.
“There were other footballers there – Alex McCarthy, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey. It was an amazing experience and I played with Ben Curtis the first year and Paul McGinley last year. Paul was amazing and kept passing on tips as we went round.
“It’s something I will remember forever. It was a bit nerve-racking and I was a lot more nervous than when I play football. I love my golf. There are 20-handicappers as well because it’s a bit of a fun event.
“I was shaking like a leaf before I teed off and I don’t know how I took the club back. I went on to the range at Wentworth beforehand and on one side of me I had Ian Poulter and on the other Sergio Garcia. It was terrifying, it really was.
“It’s a shotgun start and luckily enough I started well away from the clubhouse on both occasions. The first year it was a long par four, the 12th, and I hit it down the middle and last year I started on a par three, the 14th, and got it on the green, so I stood up to the pressure.
“Mind you, I hit some awful shots as well, but it’s such great fun and I was really grateful to be involved. Hunty is trying to get us into the Irish pro-am this year at Fota Island in Cork so hopefully that will happen.”
Last week’s trip to the Algarve saw Tabb play a few rounds with his Town team-mates: “The golf went well – I played with Hunty, Frazer [Richardson] and Tommy Smith and we had a nice little four-ball.
“Frazer’s only just turned up so it was nice to get to know him a bit better. I’d never played golf with Tommy before but he was pretty good and we really enjoyed it.
“It was nice to be able to play golf in nice weather. I hadn’t played in ages so it was nice to get a bit of consistency going.
“Me and Hunty have a little one-on-one bet and he beat me on my home patch here in Ipswich last time so I was out for revenge this time.”
Tabb revealed his handicap to be a modest seven but added with a grin: “I hope the other players don’t see that. I tend to make it up as I go along when I’m trying to take money off them!”
Away from the golf course, Tabb revealed that he’s a fan of classical music and in particular Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi, who he saw in concert last month.
“I’ve always liked the piano and classical music,” he said. “I’ve seen Einaudi five times now. This one was a Christmas present from my brother.
“After one of his concerts I went for a meal afterwards and he came in with his entourage. I was too scared to go and asked for an autograph!”
The former Ireland U21 international says he had piano lessons earlier in his career: “I started learning when I was at Coventry and got to about grade three. I haven’t played for a couple of years and need to start doing it again.”
Meanwhile, centre-half Smith will stay behind with the Blues when New Zealand play Japan in a friendly in March after consultation with New Zealand Football.
Photo: Action Images
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