By JOHN JAMES MARSHALL/Designated Writer
I only have one problem with David Toms winning the U.S. Senior Open Sunday.
David Toms is a Senior? How and when did this happen?
That can’t be. I remember writing about him when he was a senior in high school. Now he’s an AARP senior? OK, he’s got a wrinkle or two since he was at Airline, but has it really been that long?
Toms’ win might not have been the national headline of this mid-summer weekend, but it was an nice respite from all the things that were going on. Consider:
** Lebron James is going to the Lakers. Or landed on the moon. Or cured cancer. I can’t decide because there was so much commentary on it that I got confused. He will now be coached by someone who was taken 31 picks after him in the 2003 draft (Luke Walton). How much coaching Walton actually does will be left to interpretation. On a side note, I absolutely despise the Lakers and now my hopes of their going 0-82 next season appear to have taken a hit.
** The World Cup has started to get real, highlighted by Russia beating Spain in PKs. I only know that because I was in a restaurant while that was going on and my hopes of getting my salad became less and less likely as my waiter was glued to the TV in the bar. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t we past the round in the World Cup where teams get to advance based on how good their conduct grade is on their report card?
** The Yankees and Red Sox played three of their Armageddon-like 19 games they will play this season. (Only 19?) I don’t know which team qualifies as good and which team qualifies as evil, but I do know that I’d rather watch the 1998 film Armageddon than any of these games. The closest of these games was seven runs. Don’t worry kids; they still have to play each other 10 more times!
** And what would a weekend be with one Eldrick “Tiger” Woods claiming “I thought I had a legit chance” to win a tournament. This time, it was his own tournament, one in which the top players in golf stayed away from in droves (only eight of the top 50). Good news, Tiger — you tied for fourth. Bad news — you were 10 strokes behind the winner. By the way, here’s my new favorite golf stat: For all this talk of how Woods is “putting it together” and “getting better every week,” do you know how many times he has finished within five strokes of the winner this year? One. (Valspar, another tournament that had a less-than-stellar field).
So with all of that going on, the U.S. Senior Open had to fight for its place on the weekend sports landscape. And I gotta admit that I might not have been as captivated had I been watching Gene Sauers and Duffy Waldorf battle it out. But not only did it have our boy Toms playing in it, but it was a different style than the power-upon-more-power game that we see on the PGA Tour. Thanks to whomever invented that little ball tracker thingie. It was amazing to see how accurate the leaders, especially Toms, were with their approach shots.
That was really a fun golf tournament and the guy who won it is the one who deserved to win it because he was just a little better than the others. Toms made putts on 16 and 17 when it seemed like no one could make anything on the greens. No one choked, no one gave it away. Toms just went out and won it.
Plus, it didn’t seem like these were corporations playing against each other like it does on the PGA Tour. When Toms stood on the green for the trophy presentation with the gaggle of runners-up, it seemed like a bunch of guys who were happy for each other like it was the club four-ball.
But you couldn’t help but be happy for Toms, who hasn’t won anything in seven years. You’ve probably heard this a million times, but it’s true — you will not find a nicer famous guy than David Toms. My ears are still in fairly decent working order and I’ve never heard anybody say anything remotely bad about him.
I’m biased, but his win was the best thing in sports that happened this weekend. Now, back to see if Lebron can stop meteors from crashing into the Earth.