Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The U. S. Open Provided Many Stories of Human Interest

Like most golf fans, I was glued to the television over the weekend watching the U.S. Open play out in Farmingdale, New York. Of course, discovering the winner took longer than normal with the rain that plagued the eighteen holes for a good part of the weekend. For the first time since 1983, and not in a situation that involved a playoff, the final holes were played on a Monday. I wonder how many golf devotees called in sick to start the week so that they wouldn’t miss the exciting finish! When it came to this year’s tournament, the weather was only of the stories that made headlines.

The sentimental favorite of the U.S. Open was Phil Mickelson, as he will be leaving the circuit indefinitely to be by his wife’s side as she battles breast cancer. His every swing was followed closely by both spectators and TV viewers. But, as so often happens to Mickelson in major tournaments, he ended up placing second when all was said and done. Our thoughts and prayers will be with this great player as he now shifts his focus to something much more important than the game of golf.

The victory was earned by Lucas Glover, a 29-year-old player who was hardly one of the premier players on the circuit when he started his first drive towards the championship on Thursday. Now, his new standing as the current U.S. Open champion has lifted his world ranking from No. 71 to No.18 and he is a much wealthier man. Has a star been born?
And, of course, there is always the compelling story of Tiger Woods. Recovering from major knee surgery that took place just over a year ago, Tiger ended up with even par when the tournament reached its conclusion. This effort was not enough to make him much of a factor at any point on the leader board. This is now the first time in five years that all of the major trophies belong to someone else other than Tiger Woods. I know this is an odd sensation for everyone in the world of golf.

There is no doubt that the game of golf is filled with human drama and stories of inspiration. That is why I am thrilled to have the fictional Prairie Winds Golf Course as the backdrop for my three novels. I know that my plotlines cannot compare to what real people are experiencing, but I appreciate the opportunity to offer my small contribution.

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