Not Instant Just Gratifying

By Mercer BaggsApril 10, 2005, 4:00 pm
Instant gratification barely waits a moment. It demands fulfillment or it leaves. And because we love it so, we feed it.
 
Nothing satisfies us more than instant gratification. Were impatient and we need it ' we need it now!
 
Its why we love fast food. Its why we lose our temper when it takes longer than 3 minutes to get our fast food. Its why we gamble with our money. Its why we dont invest in bonds anymore.
 
Its just a part of us. We have little patience and less desire to sit back and wait for things to unfold. And because of this, we dont always enjoy the moment.
 
Its why Jim Nantz couldnt help but say what so many of us were thinking Saturday: what symmetry it would be for Phil Mickelson to slip the green jacket onto the shoulders of Chris DiMarco, the man who literally showed him the line to the winners circle the year before.
 
Yes, DiMarco was leading the Masters by four strokes at the time. But there were still nearly two full rounds left to play ' in the Masters, nonetheless ' and Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh and Mickelson were all well within range.
 
Its why so many were ready to count out Woods after the opening round.
 
Yes, even we were ashen when he putted a ball off the green and into the water at 13. And, yes, we were aghast when his approach shot at the first hole hit the flag and caromed into a bunker. And, yes, our mouths were agape when he hit a tee shot about 100 yards at the second.
 
But he kept his wits about him throughout the trauma. He made nothing worse than bogey. He made some huge par saves, like the 20-footer at the second. And he made enough birdies to give himself some hope.
 
He finished with a Picasso 74 ' beautifully unattractive. And while he didnt say it exactly, he didnt have to: lets let it all play out and see how it all unfolds.
 
We just dont want to wait and see how things play out. We want things now, as is. We want instant gratification.
 
Its why we tried to establish Woods as the greatest player of all time after less than five years as a professional.
 
Its why were ready to pass judgment on Michelle Wies career ' before she even gets her drivers license, let alone an LPGA Tour card.
 
Its why we were ready to consider Mickelson a major failure before last years Masters.
 
Its why Sergio Garcia is near the top of the list of best players never to have won a major.
 
Its why we were ready to tar and feather Paul Casey before he even had the chance to speak in his own defense.
 
Its why we called Tiger foolish for changing his swing ' even though he had proved us wrong before.
 
Its why we were ready to give Tiger his fourth green jacket without even contesting the final round.
 
But just as Tiger figuratively said, lets let this one play out, so, too, did DiMarco.
 
Were DiMarco a boxer, hed be a first-fist puncher. Hes not a counter-puncher. He got hit early Sunday only because he came out cold. Like any good fighter, he needed a good sweat. And once he started to warm up, he was playing California and feeling Minnesota.
 
'He's a fighter,' Woods said. 'He'll fight you tooth and nail.'
 
But, man, did he take one mother of a gut punch at 16.
 
When Tigers chip shot tracked impossibly and perfectlyintothehole ' lights out! Down goes DiMarco. Its over ' but not yet!
 
Have we learned nothing? Its not over. We have to let it play out. We have to stop running around and high-5ing everyone, and sit back down and compose ourselves.

We have to see if Tiger can compose himself and par 17. No. We have to see if he can par 18. No.
 
We have to see what unfolds in this sudden-death playoff. We have to see if DiMarco can make the most of his second chance. No. We have to see if Tiger can do the same. Yes. Finally, yes.
 
It seemed a long time coming, but Sundays conclusion was a good one. It was worth the wait. For Tiger, who won his first major championship in nearly three years. For DiMarco, who proved he was worthy of winning a major. And for us, who got to sit back, take it all in, and just enjoy it all.
 
'I hope we put on a good show for you,' Woods said.
 
It wasnt instant ' and thankfully so. But it was certainly gratifying.
 
Email your thoughts to Mercer Baggs
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - The Masters Tournament
  • Masters Photo Gallery
  • Full Coverage - The Masters Tournament
  • Getty Images

    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

    Getty Images

    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

    Getty Images

    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.