Blog Entry

Old People Trying to Win Golf's Majors? Again?!

Posted on: April 8, 2010 6:29 pm
Edited on: April 8, 2010 6:35 pm

This is starting to get ridiculous.

We all love the heart-warming story of a grizzled senior legend magically finding his game and making an unexpected run at a major tournament.  Tom Watson's storybook ride at Turnberry last year at the British Open, made eventual winner Stewart Cink quip "Even I was rooting for Tom Watson."

So yes, last year was a memorable event and Watson's tremendous play made it unforgettable.  However, after gazing at the leaderboard today at the Masters, this whole old-guy-taking-a run-at-a-major is starting to become almost commonplace.  I mean people were practically PREDICTING 50-year-old Fred Couples would be a contender.  He's 50!  How is it possible for these soon-to-be AARP members and their 10% discounts, to compete with the world's best?  And at one of the most demanding courses in the world?! 

For me it just doesn't compute.

And it looks as if these pre-Internet golf icons are clearly at it again today.  Don't forget then-48 year old Kenny Perry was a major factor last year at Augusta.  Major, as in he almost won it and perhaps should have.  Listen, when Jack Nicklaus at the age of 46, won in 1986, it seemed certain to be a once-a-generation throwback win, the likes of which we wouldn't see for decades.

Now it seems the fountain of youth is being bottled as part of the standard gear for a golfing legend.  3-Iron?  Check.  Lob Wedge? Check.  Bottled Fountain of Youth?  Check.  Bring 2 just in case.  Done.  Ok, let's do this.

Look at the leaderboard today ... Tom Watson, a 67!  Sandy Lyle, Bernard Langer are under par.  And the aforemention Fred Couples, well he's started off in superb fashion as well.  Whatever happened to the good old days where the old people showed up, were outclassed and fired an 86 that made all of us duffers feel good about ourselves. 

(Editors Note: Couples has closed strong and carded a 66! 6 Under!  Lyle finished 3 under par!)

"Tee hee look at Gary Player, he's a like a bear out there - he's great in the woods! < shouting >Hey Gary!  Look for my ball while your there. "< /shouting >
"Dude, you didn't even go into the woods with your shot, your ball is right here."
"I know. But I've always wanted to say that."
"Dude, that is so not cool."

This just says it all: 60 year old Tom Watson shooting a 67!   It doesn't even shock us anymore. 

And that is what I find, well, shocking.
(No Tigers were mentioned or harmed in the crafting of this blurb.)

Category: Golf

Since: Oct 22, 2006
Posted on: April 9, 2010 6:41 pm

Old People Trying to Win Golf's Majors? Again?!

Gosh, I didn't realize that being 60 years old is really an advantage in the PGA, I guess the senior circuit exists because you have to give the young guys a chance to win every now and then.

The basis of the column is that something is changing or at least something is strange over the past year, I freely admit that I'm not up on my history of golf, but I'm pretty sure the 50+ crowd hasn't faired too well throughout the history of the PGA, to say nothing of the over 60 crowd.

As far as my home course, it's not a fair comparison, but if I cared to do the research I would bet the mean age of amature tournament champions is certainly under 40, probably under 35. But like I say it's not a fair comparison because the 60+ crowd have the advantage of retirement in my hometown. So they can spend 8 hours a day on the course while the 30-40 year old crowd have to work and spend time with their children. Watson doesn't have that advantage, because all of these guys spend at least 40 hours a week on the golf course. Tiger's youth probably lets him practice more not less. So the advantage of the "mature" players on my home course is probably a disadvantage to the "mature" player on the PGA.

Since: Apr 9, 2010
Posted on: April 9, 2010 10:28 am

Old People Trying to Win Golf's Majors? Again?!

its called maturity and having played the course and knowing where to place the shot. go play your home course a few times and find out why the mature players have the advantage

Since: Oct 22, 2006
Posted on: April 9, 2010 8:59 am

Old People Trying to Win Golf's Majors? Again?!

This article in a single sentence is, "Why are the old people competing with the best golfers in the world?" I can think of only 3 explanations.

1. The quality of play is down. When Tom Watson was in his prime he wasn't letting 60 year olds win. Perhaps Tiger's dominance of the sport has been less about his greatness and more about his competition.

2. Technology has leveled the playing field. Perhaps the equipment the pros use is so good that you don't have to be at the top of physical shape.

3. Steroids.

I lean towards answer 2. It makes sense that better clubs mean you don't have to hit the ball as hard and it has become more of a finesse game.

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