By now you’ve heard all about 59-year-old Tom Watson’s phenomenal showing at the 2009 Open Championship.
Watson, who shot a first-round 5-under 65, just one stroke behind the leader Miguel Angel Jimenez, and tied for the lead in the second round after sinking a dazzling putt on the 18th green, became the oldest man to have the lead after any round of a major. He also became the oldest player to lead a major going into the last round.
But what should be heralded as a genuine accomplishment and a testament to one man’s athleticism is being tarnished. People are coming out of the woodwork to comment on Watson’s ultimate defeat by compatriot Stewart Cink – solely based on his age. In fact, one golf reporter – CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman – suggested that golf shouldn’t be considered a sport “when it takes a playoff round to finally beat Watson despite Watson’s age.”
Harsh criticism from someone who stands on the sidelines, Mr. Freeman.
To add insult to injury, Watson’s said to be grieving over his loss, with his wife Hilary declaring that “her husband’s failure to par the 72nd hole to secure his sixth Open title will live with them forever,” according to Britain’s Mirror.co.uk.
Heartache or not, Mr. Watson, you’re a grand golfer – and we here at GolfEtail enjoyed every minute of your triumph. You may not think you prevailed – but we do. And it gives us great pleasure to bask in the glory of this game with you.
We look forward to seeing you give your all at the Senior British Open tomorrow!