By Larry Canning
THIS probably won’t come to anything resembling a surprise to those who know me, but there are times when I might treat my beautiful set of golf clubs with something less than loving adoration, or yell out my coach’s name as I remove another provisional pill from the sleeve.
Usually after par or even a birdie, a flop shot over a trap that avoids any injuries to my self-respect as well as my playing partners, or a ripped drive, which may get within 40 metres of one of my son’s – (“It’s all relative Dad”, I often hear them say…. I don’t know what this actually means but it sounds like a very condescending way to maintain a share of their inheritance) – I get over it and head down to Mount Broughton Golf Course to lose another keno ticket.
I guess this means I still have some type of middle aged love for the game despite our capricious relationship.
When I see two young blokes going head to head for one of the game’s most important Championships displaying the integrity and respect for each other, which Jason Day and Jordan Spieth showed in the US PGA, I remember why I love the game.
It was as obvious as John Daly’s pants, just how much they both wanted this career defining victory and they were digging deeply into their talents and emotions to squeeze any advantage over the other they could… but at the same time acknowledging their opponent’s great shots under enormous pressure.
It’s easy to forget Jordan Spieth has just turned 22 and has been in the public eye since he was beating some of the world’s best as a teenager. Jason Day has also had to cope with impending stardom since he became the youngest winner of a US Web.Com Tour event at 17. With Spieth’s victories at this year’s Masters, US Open, followed by near misses at The Open and now US PGA, he now takes over the reins of World Number One from another child prodigy and also great kid, Rory McIlroy.
It seems a young professional sportsman can actually be respectful of the game he is making millions from and his opponents who have also given up any chance at a normal life to pursue their respective sport as a career. Passion and emotion are a staple diet in every professional sport, including golf, and should be used as motivation…. not an excuse!
I wonder if the people from Tennis Australia have been watching?