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Sunday, 28 February 2016

Golf Must be Wooed

Willie Park Jr, two time Open champion and golf course architect, once said, "Golf is a fickle game, and must be wooed to be won."  Never perhaps was it more true than Saturday at the Honda Classic.

Sergio and Adam Scott went out in the penultimate group and played terrific golf, feeding off one another.  Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker went out in the last group and couldn't buy a putt; or anything else for that matter.  It defies explanation.  At the end of the day, all you can say is, "That's golf."

How, in Rickie's case you can play two rounds of bogey-free golf around the Champion's course, successfully negotiating the Bear Trap, and then suddenly find yourself incapable of making a single birdie, is a mystery.  But it happens.  Golf cannot ever be subjected to your will.  You can't own the game, you can only woo it, and hope it shows you some love in return.

The night before, Rickie was about as confident as he could be about his game.  It was all systems go.  How does it happen?  In less than 24 hours you go from being a hero to a mug.  And, for all we know, he might still go out today and win the damned tournament.  He might, if he doesn't give up.  If he continues to try--if he continues to woo the game.

That's golf--a beautiful, but aloof, maiden.  She might one day smile at you, and let you know her charms.  But the next day she will inexplicably look the other way.  You can't force her.  You can only woo her.