Monday, July 20, 2009

The Fairytale That Almost Was

There was no fairy tale ending. But what a buildup. It was a close to a made for TV movie as anything in recent memory.. It was on par to be one of the best stories that sports has seen in quite some time, and probably in the top 3 of greatest in golf. A 59 year old making a run at one of golfs biggest tournaments and not just a run but 2 shots from being crowned the champion. Tom Watson, an 8 time Major Champion carried a 1 shot lead into the final hole at The Open Championship. All Watson needed was a par on the last hole and he could have done what no one could have ever imagined that he or anyone else of that age could do. He hit a perfect shot into the center of the fairway and was in a perfect position to make his par and get his name engraved onto the Claret Jug . His second shot went threw the green and into the first cut of ruff. He needed to get up and down in 2 and the tournament was his. What happened next was just gut wrenching for not only Watson but everyone on the course and millions watching on TV. The tone of all the announcers was that it was a forgone conclusion that Watson was going to win. A marketable put was wide and short and never had a chance to drop. That bogey dropped Watson to a tie with eventual winner Stewart Cink at -2. The tournament wrapped up without much drama as Cink took control of the 4 shot playoff early and Watson could never really recover.

In a tournament that was in need of a great story for the weekend got just that. Tiger Woods missed the cut for only the 2nd time in 49 Majors (the only other one was after the passing of his father). Without the #1 player in the world there was some worry that ratings would be low without his star power and also no Mickleson in the field, Watson more then made up for it.
I find it kind of funny that the 2 biggest stories of the tourney were 2 let downs - Watson and Tiger, not the winner who played some good golf, I mean he must have he won.

It is a weird situation right now, and I feel almost as bad for Cink as I do for Watson. Cink, who has never one a major before yesterday is now a Champion (which no one can take away from him, but how he and it will be remembered will be interesting. Will he be the guy that took the Open from Watson. It will be the tournament that Watson almost won not the tournament that Cink did win. They always say that you never remember who comes second...this might be the one very rare exception that that is not true.

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