Monday, July 20

Craved Storylines Missing In Majors This Year

No golf player ranked higher than 33rd has won a major this year. In a game where beyond the devout followers final days must be headlined by the big name players, particularly the biggest name, this year has been less than cooperative. The Masters in April began the first of casual-follower disappointment when Angel Cabrera outlasted longtime good guy Kenny Perry to take the green jacket. The big focus that day was on the pairing of Tiger and Phil, both of whom made late charges. The announcers were praying for a Tiger-Phil dash to the end, but first Tiger faded and ended up behind a tree on 18, then Phil missed a crucial putt. The sportswriters must have been crushed.

At Beth Page Black in New York, Tiger was out of the picture but Phil stood as the crowd and emotional favorite. After recently receiving news that his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, Mickelson was trying to win one at her behest. The raucous Long Island crowd was behind Phil and he was more than humble and gracious to them. I can see now the keys being punched by the media as they wiped aside tears writing their column about Phil triumph. Unfortunately Phil would again miss critical puts and add another 2nd place finish at the U.S. Open to his record. Another prospect was that David Duval, a man that went from number 1 in the world to afterthought, was also in the running down the stretch. A story of redemption always plays nicely. Instead Lucas Glover, a virtual unknown outside the world of golf took home the trophy in an inconceivably quiet manner. Instead of the heart-wrenching Phil story, they got the "hey get a load of this guy you have never heard of" bit. He reads a lot, isn't that crazy folks!

The latest installment of the great golf story landing short took place yesterday at Turnberry. Tom Watson was attempting the unthinkable, a 6th British Open championship at 59 years-old and on a replaced hip. This improbable notion gave the writers ample fodder to erase the pain they must have felt along with ABC at Tiger having missed the cut. But as we have seen before on 18 at the British, fortunes can change. Watson overshot his approach which left him with an 8 foot put for the win. His failure to close out was Stewart Cink's opportunity and he took advantage.

The debate about Watson's win would have been incredible and would have had golf people talking for weeks. Now instead the story will only be how Watson let it get away that will last only a few days. The debate I mentioned would have centered around how golf should be noted in the sporting world if a man who is 59 and has an artificial hip winning one of the major tournaments disqualifies golf as a sport. To me this is nonsense, because I disqualified golf as a sport years ago. That statement usually draws some ire from people that consider golf a sacred artform. To me saying golf is not a sport is not a negative, it is simply reality. Golf is a game, an activity, that is in the sporting spirit of competition. It is extremely difficult and takes an incredible amount of skill, mental toughness, and the ability to walk a good distance. This should not diminish what golf was,is,and will be in the consciousness of the American sports fan. To say Watson's falling short discredit's the notion that a man of his age can win is quite absurd and protects some convoluted integrity of the game is absurd. He fell one putt short.

The final Major, the PGA Championship next month is the final major of the year and the old hats will be begging for a big name to win and at the very least, Tiger to be there at the end. For my money, I give Bob Estes (ranked 183 currently) the best shot.

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