Monday, July 21, 2008

Playing To An Audience Of One

I have a real problem with people criticizing others when they have never been in the same situation. That is probably why I was rooting so hard for Greg Norman to keep himself together and win the British Open yesterday.

He didn't get it done but he really had an incredible week. Had he won, at age 53, he would have been the oldest champion of a major golf tournament in history.

His career disappointments are well documented, from Larry Mize chipping in at Augusta to snatch a green jacket from him in a playoff at The Masters to Bob Tway's hole out from a bunker at Inverness to win the PGA. Most notably is his collapse at The Masters where he lost a 6 shot lead in the final round to Nick Faldo.

Many have called him one of golf's greatest "chokers." This is the stuff that gets me upset. The people who have called him this have never been in the same position to know what it feels like.

I can only imagine the pressure he felt to win yesterday. It could have taken away many of the negative thoughts that others have of him and changed his legacy in golf. That is a lot to think about and may have contributed to his less than stellar performance on Sunday.

Two things I take from this. One, I applaud Norman's perseverance. He was in there fighting away. He took a chance and I think still came out victorious as this article states. Second, I think about how often we fight to improve our image, the way others view us. This is sad. We should all be playing for an audience of One.

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