Congratulations to Tiger Woods for his near-flawless performance in winning the British Open (a decent putting day on Saturday would have given him a wipe-out victory by six or seven shots), to Floyd Landis for his incredibly inspirational victory in the Tour de France (years riding as sidekick to give Lance Armstrong all the glory; one last chance this year before hip replacement surgery [!!!]; the very painful hip itself all the way through this Tour; the phenomenal comeback in the Alps after a falling all the way to 11th place), and to golfer Chris DiMarco for his second-place finish to Tiger just three weeks after DiMarco’s mother’s unexpected death. Again, as Tiger kept hitting good shot after good shot, all the glamour names on the leader board — Els, Garcia, Goosen, Furyk — failed to put any pressure, even the slightest bit, on him the last day. But DiMarco, with a slightly jury-rigged swing, a famously bizarre putting grip, and a much lesser golf pedigree, again showed the grit, determination, and never-say-die attitude to at least make Tiger sweat. The final-round 68 by DiMarco was a fine, fine piece of work, making him the only player in the field who was merely defeated by Tiger rather than losing to him. It’s an important distinction: He who plays splendidly but is defeated by a superior (in this case, almost otherworldly) performance has everything to be proud of; he who loses without mounting a challenge has only, well, lost. DiMarco is a battler, and deserves great respect.
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