12 April 2009

Useful shot, that

I know a lot of people find it quite boring, but I've always enjoyed watching golf on television. When I was a kid and trying to learn the game, it was helpful to remember what I had seen so I could try to copy the form of the professionals.

That was the idea, anyway. I'm a better-than-average golfer, probably. By the time I was 16 (I started playing when I was 14) it was pretty much a guarantee that I'd break 100, and by 21 I was a good bet to break 90. By the time I was 30 my handicap was single-digits; the lowest I ever got it down to was 6.

Things have changed mightily. I don't play enough now to have a handicap, but if I did I'd guess it would be around 15. Breaking 90 would a big deal (I haven't busted 80 in a long, long time), and I'm just as likely to shoot 100 instead.

I'm sure if I played more, as much as I used to, things would be different, but I'm OK with the things in my life that have led me to play less golf (***cough-DESMOND-cough***). And I have some physical issues that have started to affect the way I play-my knees are twenty-five years older than the rest of my body, and my back hates me.

I've been playing golf for 28 years, and I never once thought I'd ever be in a position to make some money off of it. That fact makes me even more impressed when I watch the game on TV now, how some of these players can drill shot after shot with millions of dollars on the line.

I think the golf world is just a tad over-saturated on Tiger Woods these days, but there is an ample reason-the guy is the best player in the world. He does things on the course that amaze everyone, like winning the US Open last year with what was essentially a torn ACL and a fractured leg.

When I watch a sporting event I tend to drift away from the favorites-I root against teams like the Cowboys, Lakers, Celtics, Yankees, etc (no doubt my lifelong allegiance to the Cubs plays a part in this)-and golf is the same way. I'm kind of tired of seeing Woods win everything. So this afternoon, as the final round was winding down, I was gritting my teeth at the idea of Woods coming back from seven shots down to win at Augusta for the fifth time.

And then came 18.

Yowsa. How many times have we seen Woods pull a shot out of his backside and turn a troublesome hole into one of glory? (maybe that's not the best way to say that...) Woods was under the pine trees on eighteen, needing a shot only he can make, to have any hope of winning.

He gripped it, ripped it...and watched the ball ricochet right off a tree and ninety degrees away. Game over.

And I am quite sure that is the only time I have ever watched Woods hit a shot and said "big deal-I do that all of the time."

So a dude named Angel wins on Easter. Seems OK to me.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Haha! I was actually hoping for Tiger to come back and win it, but we were reminded yesterday that he is, indeed, mortal.