Today is Father’s Day, and in honor of all father’s out there who take comfort in knowing that they are not only appreciated by their children, but can look forward, as they grow older, to a sport which allows one to ride around in a motorized vehicle, only to occasional alight to swing a club at a small ball, I recap the end of last night’s U.S. Open.
Tiger is behind by five strokes to Rocco Mediate with 6 holes left to play. The last three holes, eagle, birdie, eagle, was some of the most exciting golf ever seen. It was just Tiger doing what he does. From the New York Times :
With a dramatic 30-foot eagle putt at the 18th, Woods finished a round of 70 for a 54-hole total of three-under-par 210, giving him a one-stroke lead over Westwood and a two-shot advantage over Mediate.
“Just another boring round of golf, huh,” Woods joked. “Really, I was lucky on a couple of shots. The shot I hit on 17, that has no business going in the hole. I hit it too hard. It came out hot. One hop and it’s in the hole.”
Woods had driven wildly to the right on the 17th, finding the deep rough. His 7-iron shot from there flew into the deep rough next to the green. What happened next would be dismissed as fiction had it not been witnessed by thousands in person and millions on television. Had it not hit the pin, it might have gone 8 to 10 feet past the hole.
Even before that shot, he had electrified the massive galleries by eagling the 13th hole after an equally wild drive into the right rough. He somehow found a good lie, hit a perfect 5-iron just through the green and, implausibly, made a 66-foot downhill putt with 6 ½ feet of break to get back into red numbers.
No, compadres, you will never finish a round this way. You are not Tiger. I am not Tiger. Only Tiger is Tiger. This is what it looked like.
The game of golf in played in one’s head. Few have the ability to make one’s body work like Tiger’s. Even Tiger looks like his body is getting old, and the rotation he gets is something that only teenagers can mindlessly enjoy. It’s a thing of beauty that will never again happen to the rest of us. Few things have the ability to make us as frustrated as a bad shot. Don’t blame the body. Blame the mind.
We may never finish a round like Tiger did yesterday, but we can get one shot per round, sometimes, that is similar to what Tiger makes happen time after time. At that’s enough to keep us coming back.
Happy Father’s Day. If you can’t play today, watch Tiger.