A Lesson Learned

Yesterday, old guys around the world held their collective breath and said mental prayers. There was a man out there doing something that, by rights, he should not have been able to do - something he should have given up any hope of doing years and years ago. After four days of golf at the highest level - after four rounds covering twenty eight thousand, eight hundred sixteen yards of territory, his last putt came up less than a foot short of victory and a sixth Claret Jug - the prize at The Open. And then, in the most heart rending and pathos inducing anti-climax I've seen in a long, long time, his exhaustion and his heartbreak were there for the world to see in a four hole playoff that was just too much for the 59 year old man to navigate.

He lost it on the 72nd hole - and he knew it. The playoff was almost a forgone conclusion. The 36 year old man was going to walk all over the 59 year old. The old man was spent. He hit it short. He hit it left. His legs were just gone. 59 years old and 72 holes of golf in fours days under cold and windy conditions had made it so that the four hole playoff was just more than he could manage.

Tom Watson just ran out of gas.

It's a good thing in a way. Golf equipment stores would have had a run on equipment as every 60 year old man who's ever given up the game because he knew that THAT dream was gone would have suddenly found a new urge to get out there and hit it. Hospital emergency rooms would have been filled to overflowing with unfit old men who'd bent and strained any and every muscle in their bodies. And worse.

No, Tom Watson did all of us a favor. He lost with grace and style and said, "I'm old but I ain't done yet" but he didn't say it so loud that everybody in the whole damn world heard him. It was more like he was talking to himself - and that's just fine.

He did great. I'm happy he was there at the end. And it would have been historic, had he won. But I HATE to think of what it would have done to ME if Tom Watson had won the British Open.



Patsy said...

What a wonderful perspective on his loosing.

Joyce-Anne said...

The minute Tom Watson missed the shot, my husband knew that was it. He had been watching the Open and rooting for Tom to win it.

Nan said...

Yup, heard it on the BBC this morning. Great story, congratulations Tom anyway!

moneythoughts said...

Well written and beautifully said. Age does have a way of taking life away from us.

Hockeyman said...

I was cheering for him all the way. Unfortunately for Cink, so was he. Tom had an amazing run and almost pulled off what would have been a great story. I kind of feel bad for Cink though because you could tell he felt bad and was pulling for the guy as well. Oh well, congrats to both players for generating buzz in a Tiger-less weekend.

Ree said...

I was so cheering him on. I love my 'old guys'.

Momisodes said...

Sounds like it was an amazing day anyway. I love your take on this, especially if he had won. :)

Hyphen Mama said...

I love how you take a loss and turn it into a wonderful story.

If this IT gig doesn't work out, maybe a sports writer would be another option!

NicoleB said...

I would have liked it, if he won.

Jientje said...

Ewww, 59 does not seem THAT old. To me.

Eric S. said...

It would have been nice if he had won though. A valiant effort, and good sportsmanship.

Mrs4444 said...

I NEVER listen to or watch golf, but my husband and I listened to the match (is that what they call it?!) on XM radio yesterday--so compelling!

Do take care of my sweet Tara this week!!! I want to meet her in one place, heehee~

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Interesting thoughts. I like to root for the underdog, so I'm kind of sorry he didn't win. But heck, everyone still knows his name, right? ;) Few people make it that far.

LceeL said...

Patsy: Thank you, Patsy.

Joyce-Anne: I was rooting, too. But I knew it when he missed that putt.

Nan: Yes - congrats to Tom. He did good.

Moneythoughts: Like a thief, Fred. Like a thief.

Hockeyman: They did create some buzz, didn't they? It was good for old guy golf.

Ree: I really don't know what to say.

Momisodes: It was amazing. For most of two days he had to be on top of the world.

Hyphen Mama: I love sports. I love to write. Who knows?

NicoleB: I would too, but, in a way, I'm glad he didn't.

Jientje: No - it's NOT that old.

Eric S: It was all of that, certainly.

Mrs4444: I LOVE the golf coverage on XM. Those guys (and gals) are good.

HollyATOM: Everybody has known THAT name for a long, long time.