CELEBRITY endorsements are never something to be sniffed at by any business but, as in the case of one Newport restaurant, they can come from unexpected sources.
One would imagine few people working at Thai Thara on Corporation Road were expecting to be credited with an amazing sporting feat, but so it proved on Saturday.
The man responsible was Thai golfer Thonghai Jaidee who made headlines for his longest ever drive, struck at 18 downwind and travelling an astonishing 410 yards.
When it was put to Jaidee that his astonishing show of strength (he’s not renowned as being a big hitter and is slender for a golfer) might have been because of something he ate, he said: “In Newport they have quite a good restaurant, Thai Thara. Maybe that is why.”
Jaidee is one of several players this week to heap praise on the set-up of the Celtic Manor, even though the Twenty Ten course has proved brutally difficult for some players with some wild, wild scores.
However, apparently it’s not to everyone’s taste.
Taking a page right out of the Mark Williams book of ‘how to turn an entire crowd against you,’ as the snooker star did by insulting the Crucible last month, England’s James Morrison is apparently no fan of the Celtic Manor.
“Thanks Celtic manor. Dump! One more round then can’t get over that bridge quick enough!” he tweeted, with the expected volley of abuse being returned. He continued though. When asked if it was the worst course he’d played this year, he replied, “by far,” though he did later apologise.
Welsh correspondents took the matter up with the European Tour and they will penalise Morrison just as snooker’s governing body took action against Williams and fined him for his comments about the Crucible.
Tournament director Mike Stewart said: “We have spoken to the player who has expressed his sincere regrets about the nature of his comments on Twitter. James wishes to apologise to Sir Terry Matthews and everyone at the Celtic Manor Resort for all of the offence caused. The European Tour will be taking disciplinary action against the player.”
Feel free not to rush back James. We’ll cope.