NOTE: I have tried to be overwhelmingly positive in the way I share my heart. Today may come across differently, and if you don’t want that, then I suggest you click the X at the top left of your page.
EDIT: Since there are some that respnding to my comment about a wife being heckled for her beauty, I was not talking about myself. Continue the insults, but at least know that.
“I mean the goal from the minute we got out here was to just crush them as bad as we can and, um, I hope that we close them out today and we go out tomorrow and just beat ’em even worse.” -Daniel Berger
Last week was hard on my heart. That video right there pretty much sums up why. The fans felt the same way. I wonder why when that’s what they witnessed…
I am an American through and through. I love my country with all my heart and know that I am one of the lucky to live here. I am also a child of immigrants. Both of my parents grew up in the Philippines. My paternal grandfather was American and passed along citizenship to my father, and my mother is a naturalized citizen. My father’s 23-year service in the US Navy brought and kept us in the good ole’ USA. I am an American that was raised with Spanish and Filipino cultures that have shaped my values. I am married to an Australian green card holder. This has brought a beautiful aspect to my life. One that has blessed me with humor, koalas, and vanilla slice. My children have the incredible benefit of being raised in a family of so many cultures. It’s a beautiful thing.
There were many times last week that I thought about what the kids were seeing. The crowds booing for good shots and cheering for missed putts. The drinking at 7am? Screaming “Big Easy” to Ernie Els and begging for his autograph and then yelling at his players. Heckling a wife for her beauty and then her husband for his play. I was thankful my boys weren’t there to see the way people were treating their daddy. Their hero. My parents could simply turn the television off.
Adam Hadwin teeing off
When I met Marc, I did not know a birdie from a bogey. I didn’t know anything about any sports really. My head has been stuck in a book for much of my life (there is a reason Belle is my favorite Disney princess,) and I’ve been happy that way. If you had asked me to attend the Masters, I would have asked you what that was with all seriousness. But over the years I have truly come to appreciate this game. I enjoy that true golf lovers want to watch good sport, even if it’s not coming from their favorite players. It’s common to find applause for bogey putts at normal events. The players politely put up their hand in acknowledgment no matter how frustrated they are. Of course, there are times when the game gets the better of them, and clubs end up broken or in the water, but that is not the norm. In fact, it is so frowned upon that players will be fined by the PGA TOUR for poor behavior. They hold their players to a high standard. They recognize the role models the players should be to their young fans.
And I love my TOUR family. They have been there for my family during the worst time of our lives. Their support didn’t stop when I got out of the hospital. I found it in little ways for several months after. Someone holding the door open for me when I was probably just a little farther away than they would have been expected to wait. The fact that when people asked me how I was doing, they truly wanted to know the answer. The way they have shared in our joy. How they truly understood the miracle that Eva is and how they have celebrated with us.
Golf is truly a gentleman’s sport. But last week was not the golf I know. During the opening ceremony, I was enjoying the Fanatics singing their songs that most people have come to love when I heard an American scream, “Speak English!”
1. What an awful and ignorant thing to say.
2. They were speaking English.
3. Half of the International Team is bilingual. How many languages do you speak?
The rest of the week didn’t get much better nor did the insults. Someone yelled “Blooming Onion!” to Marc. Check yourself and your facts because that’s not Australian in the least. Another yelled, “avocado!” at him. I feel sorry for you because if you don’t understand how delicious an avocado is, then you are living a sad, sad life. “You eat cereal with a fork!” Oh friend, maybe that’s actually you who does that, because how would you even think to say that? I understand that this was not every fan. In fact, I believe that most of the people acting that way were not actually golf fans. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the fact that they were the loudest and that the people around them did not ask them to stop.
By Sunday afternoon when America won, the crowd calmed down some. All of a sudden they liked our guys again. Yelling for autographs and pictures. And what did our guys do? They signed and smiled. When we were waiting on the 14th green for the closing ceremony all of us were distracted and chatting. Captain Price got our attention and asked us to start clapping for the American Team. Because that is what golf is. That is what sportsmanship is. That is why I was so proud to be part of the International Team. You will not find a kinder group of talented men.
I want to be clear about something. I wish for nothing but success for Marc because he works hard for it and it allows us to give back. But whether he wins or loses is of no importance to me. I only care about how he wins and how he loses. I care that he wins with humility and loses with grace. When Marc shot 40 on the back nine to lose the Dell Technologies Championship he did not throw a fit. You could see the disappointment etched on his face as the cameras zoomed in close, but you didn’t see much more than that. Two weeks later he bought beer for the media as thanks to the cameraman who jumped out of the way of his bunker shot. That is what is important to me.
Recently a reporter asked me what motto I live by. My answer:
After the first day, the Internationals were obviously down. I was watching the Golf Channel and heard Brandel Chamblee say, “If you’re Captain Nick Price, what do you do when you’re looking at a massacre?” Well, Mr. Chamblee, after the devastating tragedy in Vegas this week- I want to ask you: Was that kind? Necessary? True? I don’t think it improved upon the silence.
America has had a hard year. Last week was a chance to come together over something so simple, the love of golf. I wish we could have shown our best. With the Statue of Liberty as our backdrop, we certainly should have.