I read with great interest and enjoyment Mr. Hillyer’s article regarding the recently completed U.S. Open at Winged Foot. Although it can seem that there is a distressing lack of intestinal fortitude among today’s elite competitors, a glance at history will show that the experiences of Mickelson and Montgomery have long precedent in the history of the game.
Witness Arnold Palmer’s incredible collapse at the 72nd hole of the 1961 Masters, where a double-bogey 6 cost him the championship and made Gary Player the first foreign champion in that tournament’s history.
Witness also the collapse of Doug Sanders in 1970 who needed only a four-foot putt on the 72nd hole of the 1970 Open Championship at St. Andrews. His putt was so off the mark that Sanders almost instinctively reached out to rake it back, much as a 15 handicapper would do in his Saturday morning foursome.
Finally, let’s not forget Sam Snead, who skill at losing Opens over three decades would make Greg Norman look like a piker. The list goes on.
The fact is that golf is replete with comebacks and collapses. It’s the nature of the game. My grandfather, Bobby Jones, said that that drama is part of the charm of the game, it is what makes the golfer, “the dogged victim of inexorable fate.”
On another golf website, I wrote yesterday that Geoff Ogilvy showed tremendous patience during his Open victory. Whether he becomes a great of the game remains to be seen, but for now he is the Open Champion. He showed, more than any other competitor last week something my grandfather wrote about in the 1930s, the virtue of “courageous timidity.” In Bobby Jones on Golf, he wrote that “…[courageous timidity is] a most happy phrase, for it expresses exactly the quality which a golfer, expert or not, must have to get the most from whatever mechanical ability he may have. ‘Courageous’ to keep trying in the face of ill-luck or disappointment, and ‘timidity’ to appreciate and appraise the dangers of each stroke and curb the desire to take chances beyond a reasonable hope of success. There can be no doubt that such a combination in itself embraces and makes possible all the other qualities which we acclaim as part of the ideal golfing temperament for the championship contender as well as the average golfer. When we have pronounced [that] phrase we have said it all.” And so we have.p>Thanks, Mr. Hillyer, for an interesting article. And thanks, too, to Geoff Ogilvy who showed the world the patience that it takes to become a major champion and to stand, at least for this one week, at the top of the golfing world. br> — Bob Jones IV
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?