By Larry Canning.
If there was a major tour for sitting and pondering, I reckon I would be the leading money winner. I can actually stand and ponder as well but it can make me a little light headed.
Last month I nearly pondered myself into a coma while I was watching golf on the telly. On one channel there’s Aussie Matt Jones standing over a putt in Atlantic Beach, Florida and on the other there’s Xander Schauffele with a very similar length putt in Atlanta, Georgia.
Both very talented Tour Professionals and both putts very important to their careers. The difference was Xander was winning one of the biggest events on the PGA Tour aptly named The Tour Championship with a massive first prize cheque of US$1,575,000, whereas Matt was putting together a very gutsy final round of 4 under 67 in the Web.Com (You guessed it) “Tour” Championship and pocketing a cheque worth $36,000. Matt’s last round in the very last event and his measly (Maybe by his standards not mine!) 36K was enough to push his number up the money list and his name back on the PGA Tour for the next season.
Exactly 12 months earlier Shauffele himself was on the Web.com Tour trying to earn his way onto the world’s richest golf circuit. He missed the top 25 and automatic qualification by an agonising $100 but dug deep and played well enough in the end of seasons play-offs to scrape through and grab one of the last few spots on the PGA tour.
I pondered … just how fine the line is between those lucky ones competing for insane amounts of money on that extortionate Fed Ex Cup circus and wondering if the vault at their local ANZ is big enough to fit their winnings in, and the less fortunate but equally gifted players who are street fighting their way around the country on the Web.Com Tour for the kind of cash that wouldn’t excite Xander’s pool cleaner.
Ironically, a week later I’m sitting on my favourite lounge, Nespresso Lungo Cappuccino in hand, observing and pondering all the rich guys playing in the Presidents Cup for exactly NO dollars. I don’t know about you but my Nespresso was easily the most enjoyable part of that tournament for me. Did anybody see that post round interview by US Player Daniel Berger. I’m tempted to take the “snakes hiss” out of his surname but I reckon he did that all on his own. After Berger won his match and it became apparent the absurdly talented American team could actually win the Cup on the third day, he was asked what he thought about the fact that the cup could be over before the singles matches. He said:
“I mean, our goal from the minute we got here was to crush them as bad as we can. I hope that we close them out today and we go out there tomorrow and beat them even worse.”
I pondered just how soon I could catch up with this classless goose, lock him in a room tied to a chair, tape up his mouth and make him listen to Jack Nicklaus. Jack was one of the hardest competitors ever to belt a balata but always showed total respect for his fellow competitors. I reckon it was the memory of Jack’s famous conceded three foot putt to Tony Jacklin on the 18th in the Ryder Cup 1969 that inspired American good guys Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell to do the same with Anirban Lahiri and Si Woo Kim on the 18th.
I’m pondering myself to sleep now readers which at this point could be dangerous. If I don’t file this piece before I nod off I might be pondering a future in some other line if work. Thanks for reading and don’t be shy to share your ponder… Just make sure you’re sitting down.