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Nice guy finishes first at The Masters

April 12, 2010

I don’t normally watch golf, but yesterday I got completely caught up in the big game.  Maybe it was because the scores were so close — the leader board flip-flopped with the big names. Couples. Westwood. Mickelson. Woods.

With any sport, I am most engaged where there is a race to the finish. And what a race this turned out to be. With Tiger’s image completely crushed by his sexual escapades of late, all eyes were on him — watching every swing. And wow…I was not impressed. A great golfer, I’m told, but even a novice golf-watcher like myself could see that he was inconsistent, impatient, and just not “in the game.” Sure, there were some great moments, but in the end, I was so happy that Mickelson won the Green Jacket.

The differences, again, from the perspective of a non-golf-watcher, in the way that the two players (Tiger / Phil) walked the course were most noticeable. Phil never missed an opportunity as he walked from one hole to the next to nod to the crowd, and show appreciation for their applause. He smiled. A lot. He played his game, his way, with confidence. Or so it appeared, to me. Tiger was sullen. Smiling once, when he got a hole-in-one. He rarely looked to the crowd, and seemed frustrated most of the time. Guess it’s all that self-induced stress in his life that’s messing with him?

Phil, too, has had a stress-filled year, with his wife and mother both being diagnosed with breast cancer, but he was cool as a cucumber on the course.  I think I may have fallen in love with Phil Mickelson when he hugged his wife after his strong finish on the 18th hole. 

I think there’s this part of me that just wants the good guy to win. No matter what. And so I watched. And I cheered. And I even shed a tear when Phil Mickelson won The Masters. Come on…I know…but that was a very emotional embrace with his wife!

A post-game interview with Tiger Woods clenched it for me. He appeared arrogant (as usual) and just didn’t get it. Will he regain his fan base? Probably some. But there are people, like me, that believe that an athlete has to be MORE than just “good.” They should have integrity. Character. Be likeable.

And so, horray for Phil! I like it when the good guy finishes first.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dave permalink
    April 12, 2010 3:01 pm

    a comment found on Golf.com article about Phil’s win … ‘Compare the post-round interviews of Lee Westwood and Tiger Woods. One is a classy, gracious Brit, and the other is complete self-centered jerk. One compliments Phil and says he deserved to win. The other is just a “4th place sucks” boor.’

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