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Saturday 21 October 2017

You might be a rich megastar, but you can still be a bore

In the latest of Paddy Power's patented novelty bets, punters are being asked to anticipate who will be Rory McIlroy's next girlfriend, a position that may seem to be eminently desirable for those lucky enough to be on the shortlist.

But before the candidates get too excited, they may want to ponder another particular aspect of being Rory's girlfriend, namely the fact that they will be hooked up with a golfer, will have to walk around golf courses, and become friends with other golfers.

And it's that very fact that should send the prospective partners running for cover, because if you want a salutary lesson as to what can happen to men who live for golf, look no further than the curious case of Thomas Talbot.

Thomas has just lost a defamation case against the Hermitage golf club, which has seen him stuck with legal costs of €500k.

The reason for this extraordinary sum is that he went all the way to the Supreme Court, and in so doing occupied a mind-boggling 83 days of court time.

One would assume that it involved a major point of law, a heinous crime from which he will never recover, or something similar.

Well, no...

In fact, Thomas launched his legal battle 11 years ago because he claimed that a certificate sent to him by the golf club suggested that he may have been fiddling his handicap.

Even if the claim were true - and the club have vehemently denied it - this certificate was seen by just one other person. And, let's be honest, it would be possible to say worse things about someone.

But to Mr Talbot, this is counted as a mortal sin.

Choosing to represent himself, rather than hire a barrister, Talbot kept litigating in the face of all logic, calling countless witnesses and cross-examining them at absurd length, all the time racking up huge bills.

It's hard to imagine something so inconsequential being taken so seriously by anyone other than a golfer, and is sadly reflective of the fact that, no matter where you start out, the obsessiveness and life-sapping tedium of golf always gets you in the end.

That alone should make any self-respecting lady declare herself ineligible in Paddy Powers' latest contest.

They may get engaged to young, gifted megastar. But they will probably end up married to a bore.

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