Niagara Gazette

Columns

August 18, 2013

SINGER: Lefty: From Porter Cup to U.S. Open?

Niagara Gazette — The July 23-27 running of the 55th Porter Cup at NFCC showcased a longtime barometer-venue of future golf greatness, not least, in ‘72’s winner, Ben Crenshaw, and especially in the 1990 victory by a younger, shinier Phil Mickelson. Yes, like many former winners here, striding the lovely, roadside 18th green ringed by bunkers, Mickelson was destined for greater things, but also en route to unforeseen, gray hair-inducing difficulties he couldn’t have predicted.

For Lefty always had that personality trait which is such a two-edged sword in golf, as it is in life itself–sensitivity. I can still see him surrounded by closed-in, hungry crowds as he tried to hit out of hard-pan woods on the final hole of a U.S. Open he’d led by a bunch and seemed to have in the bag. And he didn’t get it done ...

Which made me think of Greg Norman, once anointed heir apparent to Jack Nicklaus (both blond and strong), and so often violated, it felt, by peremptory, elbow-tugging media vultures, pouncing at the sweaty Shark as he exited the course with a splendid third round score, and posing questions like: “How will you avoid blowing this major tomorrow like you did previous ones?”

Add to that all the gonzo-ish shouters (starting in the ‘90s) of “you’re the man!” or “in the hole!”, which for human racehorse types like Norman must have been especially jarring, and... well, you just felt for him. The Shark ended up winning two British Opens as his majors, in part because crowds over there were by and large, more respectful and probably smaller than at prestigious U.S. tourneys.

And then came Mickelson, taking the torch from Norman, as another favored target of media and crowds. (Some of the latter’s denizens more apt, it seemed, for rollicking at wrestling or dodgeball matches than watching pro golf!) Like Norman, the early Mickelson seemed another big money-winner who couldn’t get it done in majors–that was the kind of sadistic message you got from many who followed his career from the get-go.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Moreland panel comes back to haunt Cuomo Let's get this straight. That was Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo at the microphone in the Syracuse radio station, Dec. 4, 2013, explaining the need for reactivating the anti-corruption panel called the Moreland Commission. "The commission clearly has the legal authority to look at anything they want to look at, including the governor, the attorney-general, the comptroller, etc.," the governor told the listening audience.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Immigration issue belongs to everyone I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up my digital edition of the Washington Post yesterday and found something that I think captures part of the dilemma America faces right this minute; it's a simple question: Who are we, or to put it another way, what do we really stand for?

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug new CONFER: It's time the U.S. stopped giving aid to Israel When you see some of the atrocities that Israel has committed in Gaza, including last week's bombing of a United Nations school that was being used as a civilian emergency shelter, you should really wonder why we count them as an ally and why we devote so much of our financial and political resources to the scoundrels.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: A cupcake gets the Niagara Beautification Commission spotlight Not a cupcake per se, but a cute shop in LaSalle operated by a "sweet" lady who is a real dynamo when it comes to running a business.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug [Duplicate] GLYNN: A key factor in luring the convention A natural wonder in the nation's oldest state park isn't the lone factor for selecting Niagara Falls as a convention site.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Regional poetry and sad realities If that isn't (or wasn't) poetry, I don't know what is! I'm referring to the self-satisfied, sluggish trot of ice chunks emanating from Lake Erie in early May 2014 -- sauntering, it felt, along the lovely Niagara.

    July 27, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Quest for an appointment comes up short We're rolling up our sleeves for Quest. The Big Mac of blood tests, the Tops of tourniquets, the Sears of screenings, opens on our Island at Monday's crack of dawn.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Davis, Vincent mug VINCENT DAVIS: Pledge your allegiance to the Slurpee, America's treat By now you must be aware that it is, in fact, summer. And since summer is a season not characterized by any obvious weather events (sometimes it's hot for days in a row, sometimes you get a bunch of rainy days and chilly nights) but instead activities, I'd like to bring attention to an underrated staple of summer sun enjoyment: Consuming the brain freeze-inducing snack classic, the Slurpee.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Popeye's '7-Minute' guide to educating southerners -- and me! Writer Mark Twain said that when he 14, his father was so ignorant that he could hardly stand to have the old man around. But upon turning 21, Twain said that he was astonished by how much his father had learned in just seven years.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Wegmans call warns of bad fruit I was humming to myself the other day, getting ready for work on a lovely summer morning, when I decided to check my messages on the house phone. I hit the play button and heard a message from Wegmans warning me about some fruit that I had bought at their store. As quick as that, a message with the scary potential to change my life or the life of someone I love.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page