I really wanted to write something about Tom Watson's performance this week at the Open Championship. I didn't get a chance to watch until today, but I was pulling for him. I think I've been really sentimental lately about golf, in that I've really gotten attached to some of the guys in the finals.
On a few occasions, it was rooting for Tiger or Phil to come from way back, shooting a round that you'd never forget. In other cases, it was almost the same feeling I had rooting for Roddick versus Federer in the epic Wimbledon from a few weeks ago -- I wanted the underdog to win.
So in trying to figure out what to say, I came across this entry in ESPN's Live Blog:
Stewart Cink is part of a recent run of "party-pooper" major champions.
From ESPN stats guru Jon Kramer ...
2009 Open Championship: Stewart Cink beats Tom Watson in a 4-hole playoff after Watson bogeys the final hole of regulation. At 59, Watson was trying to win his 6th Open Championship and become the oldest major winner of all-time.
2009 U.S. Open: David Duval, ranked 882nd in the world, finds himself right in the hunt. But it's unheralded Lucas Glover who takes the title at soggy Bethpage Black.
2009 Masters: 48-year old Kenny Perry has his first major title in sight before bogeying the 17th and 18th holes in the 4th round. He goes on to lose to Angel Cabrera in a 3-man playoff that also included Chad Campbell.
2008 Open Championship: At 53, Greg Norman was trying to become the oldest major winner ever. Padraig Harrington caught him on Sunday at Royal Birkdale as he successfully defended his Open title.
One could make an argument that Tiger Woods was a party pooper by beating "Joe Golfer" Rocco Mediate in the 2008 U.S. Open
I think that sums up pretty well how I feel. I think a lot of people, myself included, wanted Tom to win so badly that the loss kind of rips at your gut. It's like a bad breakup or something. In many of the cases listed above, I felt I was watching something magic on a Sunday afternoon, only to have the fairy tale end and then end up with the feeling that I just wasted an entire day watching someone I don't like win a golf tournament.
That's not entirely fair, because in today's case, Stewart Cink is actually a pretty likable guy. Unfortunately, he just wasn't the one that could have turned back the clock 30 years today.
Congratulations anyways, Tom. It was a lot of fun to watch.