Sunday, July 19, 2009

In New England we call it Wicked Good

It has gone beyond and into the surreal, transcending our sport as one Tom Watson is where he wants to be and has a 36-hole plan that he is half done with. Suspending believability we golfers are witnessing such serenity only an old golfer can appreciate. Memories cannot be imparted to one, each must live them and with the depths of those memories golfer Tom Watson is on the virtual precipice of sports history.

Unprecedented does not begin to write the story. Golf in the Open Championship has its lore and champions of legend, Tom Watson can in the sports greatest championship which dates from when the United States of America was entering Civil War and no one knew if the nation would survive. Abraham Lincoln was President of these United States when Willie Park, Sr. won the first and Old Tom Morris won the second Open championship at the sublime Prestwick Links, much of which survives today. Old Tom won four Opens. Young Tom Morris won four and three in a row 1868-70 consecutively retiring the Open Belt, given in those early years. By winning three times in succcession, he retained permanent possession of the belt. He won in 1872 the next year the Open was contested.

Tom Watson has won five Opens at five venues: Carnoustie, Turnberry, Muirfield, Royal Troon and Royal Birkdale. If he repeats at Turnberry tomorrow, he will tie Harry Vardon as record six time winner. After winning his fifth he dropped and slightly dented the claret Jug in a minor mishap, some saying that he invoked a curse of the Golf Gods further preventing his sixth victory.

A sixth win will secure Oldest Tom's place in all of sports with such a supreme achievement.

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