Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Skirting around the lip of the U.S. Open

Over the weekend we visited my dad. Some of the time was spent merely sitting in the living room, chatting while the U.S. Open was on the TV with the sound off. What is noteworthy about that was how despite the fact none of us in the room were players of golf, and I have at best a cursory knowledge of the rudiments of the game (with no interest in playing it), we still were drawn into the proceedings on the screen.

Without having any particular rooting interest we nonetheless winced as a Phil Michelson* putt skirted along the lip of the cup and then rolled away rather than dropping into the cup. This merely underscored what seems a basic human trait: empathy. Without any particular emotional investment we still felt for the disappointment of another in just missing while attempting a specific goal.

Of course, there was a limit to that reaction. When one of the other golfers whose name escapes me (that I can recall any of them is slightly amazing) had a particularly bad hole, teeing off so the ball flew off the course, then on subsequent shots ending up in the rough, there was a certain response along the lines of: heck, I could have done that. There was something mildly comforting in a way about the fact even the best players in the world (as one presumes would be the ones who get shown on TV at such a tournament) were capable of such flawed performance.

We're all human.

Some of us merely get paid a lot more to hit a little ball into a hole.

And like that Michelson putt skirting around the lip of the cup without going in, I probably will not watch any more golf. It's not like watching a sporting event but a constantly moving series of highlights anyway.


* One of the few golfers I could identify.

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