71 Holes and 3 Strokes

July 20, 2009

Jeez, I thought the old guy would do it. Thought Tom Watson would pull off the most amazing sports story since the Miracle on Ice.

He fell behind coming out of the gate Sunday and it looked like the young guys were going to blow past him all day. But he steadied himself and played virtually flawless golf as one by one, the youngsters dropped by the wayside.

When he went to the final hole needing only a par, and smoked his drive right down the fairway, I thought it was over. By the time he faced one knee-knocking, 8-foot putt for the win, I wasn’t so sure — but I didn’t expect him to flub it as badly as he did.

At that point, I turned off the TV and left to get on with my day. I didn’t hold out much hope for him in the playoff, and I didn’t want to watch him go down. When I checked in later and found out he’d lost a four-hole playoff by six strokes, it wasn’t a surprise.

Give Watson all the credit in the world. At age 59, he held it together for 71 holes and 3 strokes. It was a great, gutty performance. But damn! it would have been fun to see him finish it off.