Saturday, December 28, 2013

"The 10 Worst Golfers to Win a Recent Major Championship"

It's the type of title that makes you wonder 'who's the muppet who wrote this article?'

Evan Hilbert, apparently.

It's from the CBS Sports website (December 26) and not only do they list the golfers, they also rank them.

What exactly is the point of an article like this?

Is it to belittle those 10 Major Champions... or their achievement of beating the best golfers in the world to claim the title they are now being ridiculed for winning? No, it's insinuating fluke, freak accident, and even injustice. There's only one response to that... they won and nothing can take that away from them.

I do not write about the professional game because there are so many others doing it already... and I am more interested in the fairways we play on than the professionals who ply their trade over them. But the concept of using 'worst' to describe golfers of any ability is anathema to me. Every golfer tries his/her best and whether they're a 24 handicapper or Tiger Woods they always strive to be better.

My father is 82 years old, he plays off 18 and he still wants to win that Saturday competition. If anyone used the word 'worst golfer' to describe my dad, I'd punch them.

Dad tees off the 6th at Royal County Down
For many golfers, winning a Major is a crowning achievement, the highlight of their career. Some go on and excel, some sit back and revel in it, some may realise it's never going to get better than that.

Michael Campbell (No. 5 on the list) admits that he was wrong in his ambition to win only one Major - once he'd achieved it he had nothing left to prove to himself.

Jack Fleck (who beat Ben Hogan in the 1955 US Open play-off) says he got distracted by the media attention and countless invitations to play across the country following his upset victory. (You can read about what is widely regarded as one of the greatest upsets in golfing history in The Longest Shot, by Neil Sagebiel.)

You take your foot off the gas and sometimes it's hard to get back to that same speed... but that makes you no less a champion. You still beat everybody else... and if you win following another's stumble (as is made so obvious in Paul Lawrie's paragraph - No. 3 on the list) it only shows how gutsy and dogged you are. Never give up. And remember, in Lawrie's case he still had to come back out and win a three-man, four-hole play-off.

In fairness, the author does use the following caveat to explain himself:

"And remember, these guys are still better at golf than 99 percent of the world population. So "worst," of course, is a relative term."

... then why use it! All 10 are Major Champions, which is still better than 99.999999999 percent of the world population.

On Evan's Twitter profile (@evanhilbert) he states "I do what they tell me at ." Fair enough, but Evan may want to look up the definitions of integrity and professionalism if he ever wants to be taken seriously. This kind of gutter golf writing will do him no favours.


  1. As the writer of the article said: Ironic that our worst player to win a major label goes to a guy that hit one of the most clutch shots in major championship history. All the best for 2014, Kevin!

  2. Yerra now Kev, tis only an ould bit of fun. My main problem with his piece is that he makes no mention of some of the plonkers I have been playing with this past while! Happy New Year, swing easy.