Monday, April 15, 2013
Golf in the Kingdom, Asheville, NC
The 2013 Masters Golf Tournament this past April weekend provided a lot of viewing enjoyment and didn’t disappoint! It also provided two very gritty playoff performances by the winner Adam Scott of Australia and Angel Cabrera of Argentina.
Many in the sporting world thought Scott would have been permanently scarred by his devastating loss in last year’s British Open. He was four strokes ahead with four holes left to play and he lost the golden major ring by one stroke. Some said that demons would haunt him until he quit the game. Instead, he used the experience as inspiration to try again, saying the Open gave him belief that he could compete and win a major.
Cabrera was ranked 269th in the world coming into this year’s Masters. One sports writer wryly observed that he “seems to fall out of the sky every now and then, find his footing on a golf course and contend in a major”. He won the 2009 Masters on the second playoff hole by doing just that.
All the fortunes of the day once again distilled down to the second playoff hole as a light rain overhead slowed the putting surfaces below. Angel’s birdie putt was on a track to fall dead into the hole, but it pulled up frustratingly close to the edge. Scott’s twelve foot birdie had just enough extra velocity to drop in for the victory.
Cabrera was gracious and philosophic when asked how he felt after walking off the green. He mused through an interpreter, “Golf gives and takes, so sometimes you make those putts, sometimes you just miss them, but that’s golf”. I’ve joined others in observing how much the game of golf mirrors life. And Angel’s words echo the opening lines of Frank Sinatra’s 1960’s hit; “That’s Life, that’s what people say. You’re riding high in April, shot down in May.” But the victory for Scott also echoed the second verse of that very popular song that caught folks’ imaginations; “That’s life, funny as it seems. Some people get their kicks, steppin’ on dreams. But I just can’t let it get me down, ‘cause this big old world keeps spinnin’ around.”
In the immortal words of Jimmy Buffett, “I’m just hangin’ on while this old world keeps spinnin’. And it’s good to know it’s out of my control…Just enjoy this ride on my trip around the sun. Just enjoy this ride till it’s done”.