DEUTSCHE BANK CLASSIC
By James Turnage:
For those of you who don’t follow golf, today’s tournament just outside of Boston was the second of four playoffs to determine the winner of the FedEx Cup. Last week, the first of the playoffs, there were 125 golfers in the field. Friday for the Deutsche Bank, 100 started. Next week in Indianapolis there will only be 70, and for the final in Atlanta, only 30. You can get a feel for the pressure, but when you realize the top prize is 10 million dollars you might faint.
The final today was a fan’s dream. The second to last pairing was Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods. The final pairing was the leader Louie Oousthiezen, from Sweden, and Rory McIlroy, from Northern Ireland, and golf’s young new superstar.
It was a great day of golf. Oosthuiezen had an incredible round on Sunday, at one point making seven birdies in a row. But today was McIlroy’s day. He showed virtual genius, with only a few miscues, and even then his shots were magical.
Tiger Woods had his chances. Overall he played brilliant five under par golf for the round and lost by two strokes. He ended up 18 under par, Oosthuiezen 19 under, and McIlroy 20 under.
I’ve heard all year about Tiger’s new swing coach. What he needs is a putting coach. Six times I saw him miss makeable putts, which would have made him the winner of the tournament.
Much of the excitement of the tournament was to watch the changes in other scores than those of the leaders. To make it into the top 70 and continue on to next week was all that mattered for most. And it changed many times. For one golfer, Hoffman, it came down to the final hole and the final shot. If he made par he moved on, if he missed he was out. Fortunately for him, he made it.
So next week will host the best of the rest, a number of only 70 on the course. The following week will include the best of the best, only 30 who will be aiming for the 10 million dollar prize.
Individual sports such as golf and tennis are more pressure packed than I can imagine. You have only yourself to thank for success or blame for failure. I’m glad I’m able to watch it. You won’t know how much fun it is unless you do to.