Final Takes for September 1 2003


Grey Goose 19th HoleThe Grey Goose Final Takes for September 1, 2003:
As a teenager in New York one particular ritual I remember with unexpected fondness is the late Saturday night trek to the 86th street news stands to pick up the early edition of the Sunday Times. The half mile walk home was always punctuated with a fight over who got Sports Sunday.
Monday through Friday, the Post would suffice for sports news. Sunday though, we turned to the grey lady. The first thing I would look for was a column by Dave Anderson. I didnt know about Pulitzers, but I knew about golfers, Giants and Yankees and Daves take was always interesting and insightful. Reflecting on those days reminds me how lucky I was to grow up in and around the media rooms of golf events with all those colorful guys who came to life larger than letters on a page. Herbert Warren Wind, Jim Murray, Bob Drum, Dan Jenkins, Dave Anderson and countless others.
As a golf fan I feel lucky to have fallen in love with a sport that has so many layers to its wonderful texture, and Im lucky so many exquisite wordsmiths have done the same. Theres an old adage about sportswriters, the smaller the ball, the better the writing, so until marbles becomes a mainstream sport, our game has the most cerebral scribes in the business.

As you probably know, Tiger Woods is well ahead of Jack Nicklaus pace in winning a record 18 majors. In Tigers 28 majors, he has won eight times. Jack didnt win his eights until his 35th major.
But theres an intriguing pattern to eachs career involving what is arguably eachs finest moment. In Jacks fourth year as a pro, he won the Masters by nine strokes, prompting Bobby Jones to say that Jack played a game with which he was unfamiliar. In Tigers fourth year as a pro, he won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by 15 strokes, the most dominant performance in Open history. And in their fifth and sixth years as pros, Jack and Tiger each won three more majors.
But in their seventh year as pros, each came up empty in the majors ' Jack in 1968, Tiger this year ' Jack would also be empty in 1969. So the question now is: will Tiger be empty next year too?
If your major hangover is more intense than Darren Clarkes after drinking Boston dry of its Guinness supply, then I offer a pain reliever in the form of anticipation. Theres so much left to look forward to as the 2003 season winds down.
The PGA, LPGA and Champions tours all have heated player of the year races. The Solheim Cup is upon us. The Presidents Cup awaits and theres the possibility of Annika landing her career largest paycheck at the annual Skins Game against the guys. Michelle Wie could still become the first woman to make the cut in a mens event this year when she tees it up on the Nationwide Tour.
There are still two World Golf Championship events remaining on the 03 schedule as well as Tour Championships on every circuit. Money titles, Charles Schwab cup points, the list goes on and on.
Dont be down about the fact that the next major is more than half a year away. Get up and cheer for an exciting finish to an already remarkable season in championship golf.
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