Salem Radio Network News Sunday, July 3, 2022


Motor racing-Keen golfer Albon has Monaco down to a tee

By Alan Baldwin

MONACO (Reuters) – Motorsport is dangerous, as it says on every ticket, but Williams driver Alex Albon reckons being near him on a golf course also has its risks.

The British-born Thai racer is dating Chinese LPGA pro golfer Muni “Lily” He and recently took part in a pro-am tournament in Spain.

His technique, like her abilities behind the wheel, is a work in progress.

“It’s a genuine hazard to have someone like me on the course. There’s so many fans around and…it’s hard to hit a drive straight,” Albon told Reuters when asked about his love of the game.

McLaren’s Lando Norris, Mercedes’ George Russell and Ferrari’s Monaco native Charles Leclerc are also part of a group of young drivers for whom golf offers a chance to step out of the fast lane.

Norris, currently resting at home after suffering tonsillitis in Spain last week, even played at Augusta National after this month’s Miami Grand Prix.

“You literally walk to a ball that’s still. It’s about as slow as you can get,” said Albon, who also lives in Monaco along with a majority of the drivers, of the big attraction.

“It’s a good laugh, it’s relaxing…sometimes now we are leaving (for races) a day early so we can play golf on a Wednesday or whatever it may be. It’s become a hobby of ours.

“There’s not that much you can do in Monaco in your free time but there is a good golf course only 20 minutes away,” he added.

“We have a group chat and we’re always on it talking about golf. I think we talk about golf 80% of the time we are together. 80% golf, 20% racing.”

Albon said Lily had tried out his home racing simulator, with all the assists, and had no doubt she was a better driver than he was a golfer.

The athleticism and mental strength of golfers had also been a revelation, as well as the slow but steady build up of pressure.

“We don’t have much time to overthink,” Albon said of Formula One.

“A lot of what we do is very instinctive. We are feeling everything. You make a mistake and within a second you are into the next corner and it’s all gone.”

“In golf, it’s just so mental. You have a bad shot, a bad drive off the tee and you’ve got about 30 minutes of thinking about it before you arrive at the next one.”

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond)


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