Why did Robert Garrigus lose


Why? Why? Why?

“Why did I lose?”

That’s the question that threatens to eat Robert Garrigus' game alive.

It’s why golf can be such a cruel sport.

If Garrigus doesn’t consciously come up with an empowering answer to that question, his subconscious will come up with a disabling one.

“Why did I lose?”

Garrigus has to answer that question to move on after blowing a three-shot lead on the final hole Sunday of the St. Jude Classic.

Golf is a cruel game because failure usually isn’t anyone else’s doing in golf. Garrigus didn’t strike out with the bases loaded because the pitcher threw him a nasty backdoor slider. He struck himself out. That’s the cruel realization in this game.

Players beat themselves more than they get beat in golf. One guy wins, 155 guys lose in summer tournaments like the St. Jude Classic.

It’s what we love about the game. It's why NBC analyst Johnny Miller loves talking about choking. Because it's THE game within this game. The riveting final exam contenders take on the final tee box is more soul-bearing than any test in sport, including a last-second field goal attempt in football.

“Why did I lose?”

A bad swing? A stupid play? An inability to handle pressure? A lack of belief in one's self?

The answers can be brutal and lead players to beat themselves up and beat themselves down.

Anyone heard from Jean Van de Velde lately?

You can't help feeling for Garrigus. You can't help hoping he comes up with the answer he needs to give himself another shot. Maybe he sees a bigger picture. Maybe he has a healthy perspective that doesn't blow this up into something worse for him. Maybe his sense of himself didn't ride on that one hole.