Everywhere I go - airports, bars, rental car counters, restaurants, ballgames, golf courses - people want to talk about the Beemer.
'Hey Rich, how 'bout the Beemer!?' they shout.
And I say, 'You gotta love the Beemer.'
Why? Because the Beemer suffered like everyone else. He took crappy jobs to pay the bills. He doubted himself. He drank and talked smack and wondered if he was running too hard and not applying himself hard enough.
And then he jumped into golf head first and gambled that he would land soft.
Beemer had a hunch, not a clear understanding like those with more skill and practice and training and psychology. Most of us just have hunches, not incredibly lucid signs that tell us which exit to get off of.
And then at three different moments where he was front and center and in the middle of some crazy, who-the-hell-knows-where-this-is-going moment, he won big. At Kemper, when only his caddie, Stevie Duplantis, believed. At Castle Pines, where Steve Lowery holed 270 yard shots, 115 yard shots, made whatever he could think of to ruin Beem's party only even he couldn't do it, no matter how many times he jarred the ball from the next county.
Ultimately, at the PGA, Beemer brought industrial sized golf balls to the proceedings, and not even Tiger could get hold of the guy.
Rich Beem didn't give a flyin' hoot because win or lose he was gonna have a laugh and a beer.
You know people like The Beemer. You love people like The Beemer.
And that's why you loved the 2002 PGA Championship. Rich Beem rules. Sorry John Daly. And with due respect to the great Tiger Woods, who is the unquestioned champion, Beemer is the new people's champion.