I’m still having a hard time comprehending my emotions from yesterday.  It was difficult to watch Tom Watson miss his par putt on 18 and sit through his implosion in the playoff.  It wasn’t a “heartbreak” feeling, as in “my hearts breaking for him”, nor was it disappointment (although that feeling certainly presented itself).  No, it was sadness.

When the camera offered a close-up of his face it looked like he had aged 10 years. I felt sad for him, and for golf, golf fans, and myself.  These moments happen so rarely in sports.  A living icon, aging but capable, defying the odds to be competitive one last time against, not against his peers, but rather a generation he shouldn’t be able to compete with.  I may be selfish, but I wanted him to win, we all did, we cheered when his competition hit a bad shot.  We willed their balls into the bunkers.  We were selfish and unsportsmanlike, but we believed, and we wanted to see history.  We did…

Lost in all the sadness surrounding Watson was Stewart Cink winning his first major.  It wasn’t too long ago that we all felt the pain and sadness for him that we felt for Tom Watson.  It was 2001, the 18th green, what would have been a chance to make the playoff, it was the US Open Southern Hills, it was 1 foot, and he missed it.  Now it’s 2009 and that putt, that had been rolling for 8 years, finally went in.

The hope is 5 years from now we remember a great run by one the greatest champions ever and not what we saw in the playoff.  What Tom Watson did was incredible.  We may never see it again, and it was fun.  Fun for him, fun for golf, and fun for fans. He gave us a gift and he deserves to have us remember that gift for its whole and not for it’s ending.  But most importantly I hope we remember that Stewart Cink’s putt finally fell in the hole and that one of the great guys finally got his Major.

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