Ah, the Memorial Tournament. When you’re from Columbus and a proud OSU alum, like tournament founder Jack Nicklaus, the Memorial is always a highlight on the golf calendar. The Memorial holds a special place in my heart, because it’s one of the places where I fell in love with golf as a kid. I come from a family of non-golfers, and I hadn’t been playing for very long (maybe a year or so) when my dad scored tickets to the final round in 1993. I don’t remember many specifics about that day, but I do remember how beautiful the course was and how fun it was to watch the best golfers in the world plying their trade. After walking the course for several hours, Dad and I ended up watching a couple of groups from the hill behind the 18th green. We were both pretty tired by that point, and the leaders still had enough holes to play that we decided we didn’t quite have the energy to stick around and wait for them to finish. So we called it a day and headed home, happy that we could spend the beautiful day together watching a game that neither one of us really knew much about. Getting home didn’t take as long as we thought it might have, so I flipped on the TV to see if I could catch the end of the tournament. I turned on the TV just in time to see this:
In one of the most dramatic finishes you’ll see on a golf course, Paul Azinger holed out from the greenside bunker on the 72nd hole to win the tournament. I was hooked. And I was there, sort of.