Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Golf and Providence

Golfers can't deny that golf has an element of luck. It's the hole-in-one shot. Or, sadly a bounce left into the water, rather than the perfect shot.

After Scott Verplank's victory at Byron Nelson's tournament on Sunday, I thought of Tiger at the Open after his father died and Ben Crenshaw after Harvey Penick died. Each of these golfers were mourning the recent passing of a very close friend, mentor, and in Tiger's case, his best friend and father.

I don't know what happens to one's mental state when they are in grief--yet trying to win in a competitive individual sport like golf. Do they become more relaxed and are able to be that hard-to-fine zone easier? Perhaps they carry the burden of sadness, while recalling fond memories of their friend that is no longer.

Or, is it like Ben Crenshaw said after his victory at Augusta in 1995, "It was like he had fifteen clubs in his bag," referring to his friend, Harvey Penick who died days before the Masters began?

Whether its being more relaxed, increased concentration, or providence, it's nice to see men (and women) who are touched by a person's loss persevere and end up victorious. I can only imagine how much sweeter that victory is!

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