21 July 2009
"it is a great disappointment. it tears at my guts, just as any defeat tears at my guts. i put myself in a position to win and couldn't do that at the last hole."
ruing. i suppose that's probably the word for it. it's something i'm often found doing. ruing things. and on sunday evening, as i watched tom watson fall to pieces in the play off of the british open i felt a painful empathy with him. more empathy than i would usually have with a fifty nine year old golfer. i guess it must have been the way he threw it all away so spectacularly after coming so close. when he missed his eight foot putt on the eighteenth hole, it reminded me of a bit in you're an animal viskovitz by alessandro boffa when he writes about how for a snail the world and life is always just inches away. that even though it seems so close those few inches always turn out to be too far because a snail moves so slowly. a snail will always lose in the race against time. i'm not comparing tom watson to a snail, but on sunday evening i guess he reminded me that life is often just inches away for humans too.
"coming here, i could have dreamt that i could win the tournament because of how i was playing and because i know how to play this golf course. that dream almost came true. i am glad this happened."
ruing isn't the same thing as regretting. i don't think so anyway. regretting is wishing things had been different. regret dwells on things. it's morose. regret beats you up over things. it never lets you move on. but being rueful isn't like that. it's just a little moment when you wonder. when you wonder what things would be like if you hadn't done the things you did. and it makes you smile. ruing isn't wishing. it's wondering. and wishing and wondering are not the same thing at all. i am quite happy ruing, and i think on sunday evening, as he walked up to the eighteenth hole for the second time, tom watson seemed to be ruing things too. ruing. i suppose that's probably the word for it.
"there is something out there. i still believe that, and it helped me along this week. it’s turnberry. i have great memories here. this would have been a great memory"