You know what’s crazy? I’ll tell you what’s crazy™
The British Open.
Rain and wind and crazy history.
It was the 144th Open Championship at St. Andrews, Scotland.
The course has roads dissecting it, an ocean bordering it, and bunkers that are tougher than a fire walker’s callouses.
This tournament had everything from rain delays to Phil Mickleson blasting a drive into the side of a hotel where the ball landed on a balcony and stayed there.
Zack Johnson would eventually win in a playoff, but in many ways, that wasn’t the story.
In many ways the story was about the man who didn’t win.
The golfing world was really rooting for the Masters and U.S. Open champion, Jordan Spieth.
You know Spieth. He’s the new Tiger Woods with 200 less girlfriends and no back door entrances into private strip clubs.
Spieth is the all American boy who gargles red, white and blue.
Spieth had a chance to do something in golf that nobody has done forever, and the world wanted to witness history.
Jordan Spieth had the chance to be only the 2nd golfer to win the 1st 3 major championships of the season.
On a rain delayed, storm soaked Monday, the young man on the precipice of history has a chance, a historic, once in a lifetime kind of chance.
There he is, calmly standing over a long long putt.
The boy who would be golfing’s king is on the 72nd hole.
If he sinks this long birdie putt, he enters a four way playoff where the curtain can be pulled back on history.
The kid has bludgeoned his way back into contention like a marine storming the beach.
He was once 5 strokes off the pace.
Suddenly he is knocking on history’s door.
Where there’s a Spieth there’s a way.
All the quiet Texas kid has to do is sink a putt on the last hole of the fourth round of the 5th day.
It’s a difficult little putt of roughly 50 feet. It’s up a ridge, and then down the ridge with a slight bend to the left.
The kid has more cool in his veins than a Siberian prison.
He looks at the hole. He looks at his ball.
Then like a cardiac surgeon cooly cracking a chest, he lets it rip.
The birdie putt has good speed and it is tracking just right.
God is in the gray clouds above, huffing and puffing the ball towards history.
If the ball tinkles into the cup, he makes the playoffs.
If he makes the playoffs, he is not guaranteed a win, but I wouldn’t bet against him.
The ball is tracking, sliding slightly, the speed is good, it has a chance.
Could this really be happening?
But then it slides by the lip, by an inch, tip toeing like a ballerina, dancing on a bottle cap.
He walks to the ball, a stoic look on his face, and taps in for par. He knows he has lost history and the chance for a playoff.
“The greater story is sometimes in the loser’s locker room,” Tom Rinaldi, ESPN reporter says.j
This was an amazing journey to do something that only one man in golfing history has done before.
Only Ben Hogan has won golf’s 1st 3 majors.
Golf has a lot of damn history.
Spieth had a chance.
The pressure was enormous.
It’s like diving 100 feet under a coral reef without clearing your ears.
The glare of the cameras and the expectations.
He stood on each T box ready to strike a little white ball into a blustery date with history.
The list he is trying to join is Ben Hogan and nobody else.
It’s a celestial birthday gift for the ages.
It’s confetti spilling down from an ancient sky.
Spieth would have joined Hogan.
It’s a list shorter than hamsters who have piloted the space shuttle.
It’s a list as sacred as the men who sit around the Round Table.
The British Open was on the line.
But it was all about the history.
Tom Rinaldi coined it beautifully. “The old course and the young man.”
Spieth navigates the greens like a cat walking delicately on the hood of a Mercedes.
His smile is dynamic and pure.
His attitude is perfect for golfing’s version of celestial reentry without a parachute.
He has the tenacity of a bull fighter, the nerves of a surgeon, the skill of a golfer that we haven’t seen in many years.
The kid’s a baby in life and the golfing world.
He is the sport’s version of pyrotechnics with a calm demeanor.
He lost a chance at history, but he is still destined for greatness.
He’ll be back. He’ll win a British Open.
He may one day be on a list where he is the only member.