in the face of greatness

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yep, that is what it is and what i watched yesterday.  tiger woods.  the 21st century face of golf greatness.  sure he started his run on greatness back in the late 90’s.  fine.  he threw down some classic stuff back then.  well, he’s still doing it these days. 

this weekend’s, arnold palmer bay hill classic, in florida, was just another example of the man’s greatness.  ah, tiger’s.  arnie is and always shall be great, as well.  arnie, the man who ben hogan only called, fella.  never by his his name.  only, fella. ben hogan, a man of golf, a man of the ages who had a surreal career cut short by a fog shrouded road in texas.  a man who was left for dead by the texas highway patrol.  a man who endured pain and suffering to win his last l.a. open on just pure guts and will power alone.  a man who refused to empty the trash because it involved using muscles other than those used in golf.  yeah, golf.  the sacred game.

tiger woods equaled ben’s career pga victory mark yesterday of, 64.  equaled the 64 wins with an amazing birdie putt on the 72nd hole to stave off a playoff with a veteran of the pga wars, bart bryant.  a man of class to be sure.  a man of such class that when speaking of his lost attempt at making the field at the up coming shrine, augusta national, he didn’t break down and cry.  though in his heart he was weeping like a baby.  who could blame him?  no, he’s a vet of the pga wars.  a laugh, a cavalier doff of the cap belies his inner heartbreak.

a 45 year old veteran of the man eating pga.  bart has gone through the pga qualifying school 6 times over his career.  a man who’s won on the tour.  a man who’s won a semi-major, the players championship.  doesn’t matter.

tiger didn’t play that well this weekend.  missed opportunities were rampant for the most part.  his putting was off.  but when push came to shove.  when charlie was in the wire.  when you are flying the plane by the seat of your pants in the face of your own overwhelming mediocrity you suck it up and just fucking do it.

that’s what tiger did sunday.  fiddle farted around.  3 putted a green.  something he rarely does.  he was just on the odd outside of his game.  the tour vets and young lions whetted their own game on his semi sad game.  though tiger’s sad sorta game is usually more than enough for any for pga tour event.  sunday it came down to put up or shut up.  tiger put it up. 

it’s what he loves.  he thinks the game of pga golf or golf in general is fun.  just a game.  and in truth that is what it is.  a simple sacred game.  something for you to have some fun with.  there lies tiger’s greatness. 

since as a 3 or 4 year old on the old old mike douglas tv show hitting golf balls on national tv, golf has been his main entertainment.  how can i have some fun?  how can i amuse myself and over come nature and this supremely handcrafted golf course? 

there ya go.  that’s what he and his game are all about.  having fun playing at something he’s loved since he could barely walk.  it wasn’t his green beret dad or his thai mom that drove him to be what he is.  they were there for him and nurtured him.  however, it was he, tiger, that drove him to be what he is.  pure and simple.  we are the lucky ones to be witness to his greatness.

arnold palmer.  ben hogan.  jack nicklaus.  sammy snead.  the list goes on and on.  without divine intervention tiger woods will be the greatest golfer of all time.  he will be the muhammad ali of golf.  ain’t nothin’ else to be said.

jmh

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