I watched the Players Championship Sunday, not all of it but off and on and then all of the last three holes. I was rooting for David Toms. I don’t usually invest so much in one player but I’ve always liked David Toms and, besides, he’s old. Nowhere near as old as me but old by current tour standards. It hurt when he lost but K. J. Choi is a worthy champion. I’ve never known what to think about him. He always looks so grim out there but Sunday he smiled. It was hard to understand him on the interview (his English is not so good) but I think he thanked God for being with him on the course. There seem to be more golfers who are people of faith than in other sports. Maybe it’s because they recognize how ridiculous it is to think you can knock a ball in that little hole from forty feet. There has to be a higher power involved.
They call the Players Championship the fifth major. In my mind it’s more prestigious than the PGA. The last three holes create high drama, especially the seventeenth. But in truth it feels kind of gimmicky. I have to compare it the Augusta National (the Masters) where the course feels like it’s part of the landscape. The course was always there. They just had to cut down a few trees, build up the tees, and mow the fairways.
You can buy a house in one of those new developments, raise a family, and be happy. But the old neighborhoods with big trees, where the houses are not all alike, are more satisfying. They have character. Ponte Vedra is a great test of golf but it’s not as satisfying as Augusta and the other old courses where they play the other Majors. They have character.