Had he won the Masters, Booter demanded that I apologize for this post, in which I say Perry should have been excluded from the 2008 Ryder Cup team because he’d been skipping the PGA’s major tournaments in order to rack up points and make the Ryder Cup team.
Seems like the only good thing that came out of the Masters on Sunday is that Angel Cabrera’s playoff win means I don’t have to say I’m sorry.
Perry had that bitch wrapped up, and somewhere along the way Sunday, I found myself rooting for him. I mean, we did WIN the Ryder Cup. Time heals all wounds, but victory does a way fucking better job.
Yet he pissed away a two-shot lead on 17 and 18 and then flubbed more iron shots in the playoff, and that was pretty much it. Cabrera played great, but he didn’t win so much as play the least terrible down the stretch.
I’ll give Cabrera credit. He wins ugly. And that’s a compliment in golf. His US Open win was fairly similar to Sunday’s Masters win in that the big boys challenged, but fell back and Cabrera made just enough putts to win.
But my thoughts keep coming back to Perry.
In hindsight, the biggest travesty of his skipping 2008’s majors really wasn’t his quest to make the Ryder Cup team. Turns out it was that he could have won one of those majors, but chose to ignore them instead. Now, he was great at the Ryder Cup, but there has to be a bit of karmic justice in this tough loss. The guy skipped all the other majors last year, still won a bunch of tournaments, and when he finally gets a shot, the fates (and his irons) denied him.
Except for maybe baseball, golf requires the most amount of karma week in and week out to win consistently. Along with obscene talent, you’ll notice Tiger Woods has an almost Crash Davis-like ability to not tempt the gods. He’s (almost) never too high or too low, and the best you’ll get out of him is some tripe about his “A-game.” What he’s really saying is “you don’t tempt fate in golf.” Kenny Perry may have done just that.
Or maybe if he’d played a major or two in the last twelve months, Perry doesn’t shank four straight fairway irons, including a wounded duck on the second playoff hole, and I would be apologizing right now. Experience counts for a lot too.
Final thoughts: there needs to be a PGA official whose sole job it is to get Phil Mickelson to put the fucking driver back in the fucking bag on the 18th hole of major championships. Dude can’t hit a straight one to save his life. He and Tiger put on quite the display Sunday, but the larger point seems to be their mistakes down the stretch. They were both right there at the end, but gave away quite a few birdies. Last but not least, Tiger probably still isn’t 100% right in his knee recovery, but he was still in the Masters race on Sunday. By the US Open in June, he’s gonna be scary again.
*Photo courtesy Getty Images