by Jeff Skinner
One of the lasting images of The Players Championship was the scene behind the eighteenth green of David Toms’ family watching him as he tried to put away K.J. Choi. As any family would they were pulling hard for their husband and dad and while he didn’t win he certainly gave them something to be proud of.
Toms isn’t a stranger to the big stage, he has 12 PGA Tour wins including a PGA championship, a World Golf Championship and has played on three Ryder Cups. He has been in pressure situations before and knows what it takes to perform. But Toms hasn’t won since 2006 and is finally over some injuries that stole his consistent game from him.
Now at this stage in his life, he’s 44, he is invigorated once again and he has his 13 year old son to thank for it. Young Carter Toms was more interested in baseball then golf and like any good parent his dad spent hours playing catch and encouraging him. He actually developed some shoulder issues with all the catch they would play but then Carter put down his bat and picked up a club. He caught the golfing bug and gave it back to his dad as well.
With Carter playing, David felt it was time to show him how good the old man could be and so far this season his game has been rejuvenated. Toms has six top 25’s and a million dollar payday from his second at The Players. But Toms wants his son to see him play his best golf and win another championship. He gave young Carter another lesson on Sunday.
When Toms dumped his approach into the water on sixteen it looked like he had lost the tournament. But Toms showed what champions are made of when he battled back on eighteen with an All-World birdie from a divot to force the playoff. Alas, his unfortunate three putt in the playoff gave Choi the win but he still gave Carter something to learn from.
While the younger Toms was in tears after his dad’s miss, David handled his misfortune with class, dignity and sportsmanship. Yes, he was disappointed but he was thrilled to be back in the hunt again and is confident that he can win on tour again. He spoke about having his son, whose favorite golfer is Rickie Fowler, there to see him play,” It’s kind of neat to see, though. When I was really winning a lot of tournaments, he knew about golf and he was around some, but he didn’t play it and wasn’t into it. But now he is. It would have been nice to win today for him.
He had one of his little friends there and they were following me every step of the way. Disappointed because of that, but he can take a lot of stuff away from this week. Watching his dad out there playing and seeing me under pressure, you know, it’s neat. Because if I were to make a bogey or hit a bad shot, you look over and you see him in the crowd and just kind of put a smile on your face and puts it all into perspective.”
He’s right that puts it all into perspective. Not many dads can have their son with them at work to show them what they do and how they do it. David Toms is fortunate to be able to have his son right there as he works. Carter Toms is pretty lucky too. He gets to watch his dad do all the right things.