Monday, June 16, 2008

Did you see that?

It's true.

I confess.

For a long time I thought the only thing less exciting than watching golf was doing laundry. And that's saying something.


Let me tell you - I was wrong. W-R-O-N-G. Wrong. The US Open this weekend at Torrey Pines was riveting. My first inkling came in the form of a text from a friend - "Tiger had one of the most exciting rounds of golf ever. People were going nuts... he was down 5 strokes with 6 holes to play. Two eagles and a birdie later, he is one ahead going into the final round."

I managed to catch most of the final round - holy cow, that was still some drama. If you'd written it, they would've tossed it back to you and said, "no way, too melodramatic, tone it down."

Rocco Mediate, 45 years old, ranked 158th, qualifies to play in the US Open only after winning a sudden death play-off. Four rounds of golf later, he's in the lead. There's just one player, one shot, between him and the championship. But the player is Tiger Woods, 32 years old, ranked 1st in the world (for a record 500 weeks). And the shot? Just a birdie on the 18th hole. Which Tiger makes. Of course he does.

And the playoff round is on. 18 more holes. Rocco is ahead by one going into the 18th, where Tiger has a chance to eagle the hole and win, but he misses. Then Rocco has a chance to birdie the hole and win, and he misses. And, ba da bing, the playoff round is tied too.

Now they're on to sudden death. (See what I mean? If I handed you this screenplay, you'd think it was absurd.)

Oh, you want to know what happens? Tiger wins the championship - but (though I'm sure not for him) it seems almost beside the point. ''This is probably the greatest tournament I've ever had,'' said Tiger.

It certainly was some of the greatest drama I've ever watched. There's a reason they say it's the journey that counts, not the destination... It may have been golf, but that seems beside the point too.

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