Watson is the Legend, Cink is the Open Champion

The greatest day in the history came up one shot short.  The world of golf was ready for one of the most amazing accomplishments in sports history when Tom Watson teed off this morning tied for the lead in the 138th Open Championship.  Watson had given us a wild ride all week and it appeared that he could win, that he could do what no other man close to his age could even think of: win a major at fifty nine years old.  Watson had spoken of how serene he felt all week and how there was something spiritual going on out there this week.  He was right.  How else can you explain the fact that a man a few months from sixty could compete with men half his age.  It was his tournament to win but unfortunately it was not to be.  Watson did not get all the links bounces today that he was getting all week.
Playing a few groups ahead of Watson was Stewart Cink.  Cink had a birdie putt on eighteen to tie Watson at two under par.  Cink did not flinch at all and sank the putt.  He finished with a great score of 69 and was now tied for the lead.  As he was shaking hands afterward, Tom Watson was making a birdie putt on seventeen.  Watson now had a one stroke lead over Cink and needed par on eighteen to win his record tying sixth Open Championship and complete the greatest accomplishment in individual sport. Watson had two pars and a birdie on eighteen in the three previous rounds.  It was here that the dream was blindsided.  After a good tee ball, Watson hit an eight iron for his approach and carried it too far onto the green.  It rolled off the green and nestled against the rough in the back of the green.  At that point Watson elected to putt the ball instead of chipping and putted the ball well past the pin.  He needed to make this putt for a par to win.  He then hit one of the worst putts he hit all week, it was short and right.  After tapping in for bogey he was in a four hole playoff with Cink, but essentially he lost the Open right there.  It took him four shots from 187 yards to get in the hole on eighteen.  The disappointment was obvious.  The fans were crushed as well as Watson.  He never contended in the playoff, Cink entered the playoff on a high and Watson entered with a broken heart. 
Stewart Cink played excellent golf today.  He sank the putt on eighteen when it was his only chance to win and he struck beautiful shots in the playoff.  He is a deserving champion and certainly will contend in more majors.  But, this was a tournament for the ages.  This was to be an historic day in golf and in sport.  This was to be the day a legend, well past his prime, showed the young ones that he still had game, that he could take their best and still come out on top.  He may have come up a little short, but we should thank Tom Watson for an historic week, a legendary week, a week when he showed the world he still has a game, that he is a true living legend and still the greatest links player ever.


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