Gareth Bale announces retirement from professional football
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Gareth Bale has wasted little time in pursuing a golf career following his shock retirement from football this month. The five-time Champions League winner, who led Wales in their underwhelming World Cup campaign in Qatar, opted not to accept the offer of another year with Los Angeles Football Club and confirmed via social media that he was hanging up his boots with immediate effect.
Immediately, fans speculated as to whether the 33-year-old would then turn his focus to golf, having never hidden his love for the sport. Indeed, it became a bone of contention during his time with Real Madrid, angering fans in 2019 by holding up a flag which read ‘Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order’ after helping his country qualify for Euro 2020.
Pep Guardiola jumped in on the topic after Bale’s retirement, publicly inviting him to play 18 holes. There has even been unsubstantiated rumours that Wales’ record goal-scorer will rock up as a celebrity signing in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
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Fans seemed to react favourably to the news, with @ctsmclovinya replying: “We all knew you were gonna go smash it with the golf Love it, mate! Good luck!” while @calvinramsayfanpage added “So that’s why he moved to LA.” @capt_stevenrogers made a jibe at the famous flag saga, writing: “Golf. Golf. Golf. In that order.”
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Bale will also be joined at Pebble Beach by actor Bill Murray and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Fitzpatrick meanwhile, isn’t the only world class star in the field, with world No 5 Patrick Cantlay also confirmed.
The starting field tradtionally consists of 156 professionals and 156 amateurs, with aach professional paired with an amateur player. On the first three days, 156 two-man teams will play a better ball format, but only teams that make the cut will play in round four.
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