2009: The Most Disappointing Year In Major Championship Golf
Over the past few months, we could have seen some of the most unbelievable, satisfying, and heartwarming victories in golf history.
Kenny Perry donning the green jacket at age 48.
David Duval coming out of absolute oblivion to win the U.S. Open.
Phil Mickelson finally bringing the U.S. Open trophy back to his ailing wife.
And today, Tom Watson capping off the most improbable moment in sports history—a major championship at age 59.
Instead, we've been granted three of the most lackluster winners in major championship history: Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover, and Stewart Cink. Nothing against these three gentlemen, mind you—their wins were hard-earned and well-deserved.
But, never before have I walked away from the three greatest days of the sporting year with three more empty feelings in my stomach.
To watch Kenny Perry, the nicest guy in sports, hit some of the worst iron shots of his life when it mattered most, while Angel Cabrera made par from the middle of a forest—that hurt.
To watch the beleaguered David Duval, the laughing stock of golf for years, mount a valiant charge for the title, then rim out a few short putts to lose—that hurt.
To see another one of the nicest guys in sports, Phil Mickelson, miss a couple of four-footers, while some guy named Lucas Glover strolled down the 18th worry-free, the title in his pocket—that hurt even more.
But watching Tom Watson hang his head and seemingly fight back tears walking up to the 18th green, knowing that he gave up the chance of a century—that hurt most of all.
The 59-year-old legend couldn't capture one title, just one title, for the old guys.
A Watson win would have been undoubtedly the most improbable moment in sports history—more so than Kirk Gibson's home run, or Chaminade's historic upset, or dare I say, the Miracle on Ice.
Instead, Stewart Cink takes the Claret Jug—a very deserving champion indeed, but one of the biggest letdowns in golf history.
With each major this year getting more and more disappointing, who knows what cruelness we're in store for at the PGA in August.
Maybe John Daly will birdie the 71st hole for the lead, stirring up memories of his heyday, only to double-bogey the final hole, sending the PGA into a playoff between Arjun Atwal and Brian Vranesh.
Maybe some local PGA pro, who was once homeless and fought his way back, will lead by two strokes on the 72nd hole, his gorgeous wife and four beautiful kids watching by the green. Then, he'll shank the ball into the gallery four consecutive times, triple-bogeying the hole, and handing the championship to Paul Stankowski.
Or, maybe Tiger Woods will trail by 10 strokes on Sunday, then go out that afternoon and shoot a 59, achieving the greatest comeback in major championship history.
The crowd will go ballistic, Jim Nantz will sob like a baby, David Feherty will do a few shots of Guinness to celebrate—and then Peter Kostis will report that Tiger signed an incorrect scorecard and is disqualified. The Wanamaker trophy will be presented to Colt Knost.
Here's hoping that the PGA makes up for the disappointment we've experienced this past year. May we experience the most satisfying win in golf history.
And, once again, well done Tom Watson.
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