So as my family gathered round for a great Easter dinner, one of the greatest Master's tournament played out in front of us. A little background, I do "play" golf, and I respect and admire what those that play on a professional level do. To handle the pressure, to handle the crowd, to control your swing, hell, I can't do that on a weekend at Hawke's Prarie with 3 of my friends. Shutup Dave. I am not in their stratosphere, heck, I'm not in the same solar system as them when it comes to golf. You see, I grew up and golf is what sissy's did. Golf was not cool, golf was never even brought up. As I grew, I played a couple rounds here and there, and then came a cat called "Tiger". I would contest that there has been fewer athletes other than Michael Jordan that came along and grew their sport as Tiger has done to the sport of golf. So I play, if you want to call it that, and have a great time doing it. I have a brother that earlier in life realized much more than I that the Mariner's were in fact not going to call and picked up his clubs and started playing. To go out and play with someone of his caliber is mesmerizing. He is not a pro, but he is amazing to watch. Many times I have watched the swing or play and thought, am I watching T.V.? Am I supposed to do that? See, I can bang it. I can drive it with the best of them, 5 out of 10 times. Watching golf on T.V. to some might not be the most thrilling couple of hours spent, to me, I enjoy it. Hell, I even watch when Tiger is not in contention. Somehow I became enough of a fan that I have become fans of the like of Tiger, Kim, Ogilvy, Harrington, Scott and yes even Boo Weekley. Along with favorites I even found golfers I don't like, Mickleson, Garcia, Westwood, and Colin Montgomerie.
My reason for saying that was at this get together, my other brother proposed a question. Kenny Perry was staring a +/- 150 yard shot onto the green, sink the put and get the tailor ready. Kenny was about to hit, my younger brother was discussing the pressure that Perry was under, and my older brother said, "What do you think is tougher, sinking a free throw, or making that shot?"
WHAT? I thought. Are you kidding me? A free throw or a shot to hold the green in front of the same amount of crowd. Seriously? Now, a quick background, my older brother has never I think played golf, although has shot many free throws on his sport court. My younger brother has done both, excelling more on the course than the court. Sorry little brother.
After my initial thought, which was that the golf shot is much more complicated than a free throw could ever be, I started thinking. What is harder? That got me thinking. On the car ride home, I was talking with my wife and she said, I think you have a great question to ask. In thinking about this question I thought I needed to add a sport. But Baseball is not the same, Hockey and Soccer is not the same. But wait, how about kicking a winning field goal in a football game like Super Bowl XXXVI similar to Adam Vinatieri did to beat the Rams.
So here is my question. What is tougher, taking a free throw, to win the NBA Championship, a field goal to win the Superbowl, or 150 yards out, not taking in consideration the putt, knocking onto the green on 18 at Augusta?
I must say, in thinking about it, there are more additional hazards in golf than the other two. Both basketball and football play on level surfaces, in golf with that shot, the ball could be above or below your feet. In basketball, your indoors and weather is controlled. In football, its either in a dome or scheduled for the best possible place to play a game. Golf, its what mother nature and the cruel and unusual punishment that the course designer concocted.
But what do you think? What is your opinion? For me, given all that comes into play, the weather, the course and the mechanics, it really goes to the golfer. And in conclusion, Mr Perry duffed the shot, sending it left and shooting for bogey. This pushed it to a 3 way sudden death playoff, which again he had a chance, but on the 2nd playoff hole hooked it left. He had an almost impossible putt to make to push it for a 3rd playoff hole, ultimately coming up second and missing the infamous green jacket.
Irregardless of the opinions, the Master's played out in what could only be described as a 12 round heavy weight bout. Tiger and Mickleson made late runs, only to come up short. Cabrera, Chambers and Perry were left to duke it out, and eventually the Cabrera that used to smoke on the track and the camera's hid it, powered through.
I have had many get together's with my family, and at one point, one of the wives thought, hmm who would have guessed they would all be around the T.V. watching golf. And if this was 15 years ago, I would have agreed.
Happy Easter to all