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Final Takes for June 16 2003

Grey Goose 19th HoleThe Grey Goose 19th Hole Final Takes for June 16, 2003:
Every Fathers Day Im reminded about a particularly wonderful part of our game, the ever-present thread of family. Specifically the often emotional, sometimes volatile, but always important father son relationship.
Most young boys with a passion for the game are introduced to its wonders by their father. It usually begins with cut-down clubs and a tandem practice session. These special times are often supplemented by hours in front of the television rooting for favorites.
When the teenage years inevitably bring tension and the generations have difficulty finding common ground, golf is still there. The TV sessions may be quieter, and on-course chatter my die down a bit, but the occasional nod or nice shot means that much more.
Later, when the Y chromosomes settle and the son realizes that he has become the father, both men will reflect on a game that served as a welcome sanctuary, preserving their care for one another. If the young man is lucky enough to have a son of his own, then the circle will be complete. He can straddle the generations and turn to a simple game when life becomes complex.
The simple, healing game of golf
The buzz was missing. No, not Buzz Lightyear, who is always striving for 'infinity, and beyond,' but rather the 'lack of buzz' as the 103rd U.S. Open golf tournament readied for play in Chicago.
As the second major of the year approached, many in the sports world wrung their hands, and worried that Sammy Sosa's cheatin' heart - and bat - were diverting attention away from Olympia Fields.
But, the golf gods and players once again took the sum of all fears, quieted those with 'the yips,' and gave us stories each day that individually were excellent, but collectively were fit for a major. Before we knew it, the blank spaces reserved for this chapter of the 'great golf novel' had magically, thrillingly been written, and yes, it will make terrific reading.
As for 'the buzz,' it wasn't missing after all. I believe that everyone found it Monday, right where it always is after a major: around the water cooler at work.
I'm tired of hearing the dreaded S-word every time Tiger doesn't win.
One presumptuous member of the media asked him on Saturday if he felt he was in a slump and he sharply replied, 'I've won three tournaments this year and you're asking me if I'm in a slump?'
Then he walked. Understandably.
What do we want from this mortal? Perfection? And of all the sports he could be playing, isn't this the most complicated of them all? Look, Tiger Woods is a human who spoils us with his superhuman capabilities.
Jack Nicklaus didn't win a major in 1964. He lost 12 in a row from the 1967 U.S. Open to the 1969 British. He failed to capture a major in 74,76,77 and 79! Was he slumping?!?
No, he was refueling! As Arnold Palmer once so elegantly stated, golf is a deceptively easy, endlessly complicated game.
Tiger just makes it seem quite the opposite. The next major he wins will put him halfway home to Jack's record mark of 18 - yeah, some slump.
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