For years I’ve watched two tournaments that end and start a week apart every spring. The environment in each case is good for my soul whoever is victorious.
The second one on the calendar, the Monte-Carlo Masters, was first a tennis championship in 1897. Its center court provides a view of the magnificent Mediterranean. That court is surrounded on either side by seating with character and European taste sprinkled with cabanas. The serenity I’ve always loved by beautiful bodies of water comes home to me all that week. “He leadeth me beside the still water:” Psalm 23, 2a. It’s even a gentle surface upon which the tennis is played, clay.
The first one each year, the Masters in Augusta Georgia, has a particular place in my heart because I lived in that somewhat pastoral town in the mid-70s. I remember the traffic as a non-issue. I’d go to work on my bike rolling down a pleasant hill.
When I first lived there I lived in apartments next to the Masters course, in essence a green pasture with beautiful pines, flowers, ponds, bridges and creeks. “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures,” Psalm 23, 2b. The pasture is studded with large beautiful golf greens that in contrast challenge every golfer with the most pressure filled, prestigious of all the major tournaments. It’s in many ways, the Wimbledon of golf, though it started a bit later, 1934.
Sergio Garcia had played in over 70 major golf tournaments without a victory despite his fine game. Then yesterday, at 37, to the surprise of many, he found peace in that beautiful pasture and came home a victor. I had watched him for many years, now showing a bit of white on the whiskers of his chin. Those were frustrating times for Sergio and I had seen the frustration across his brow many times. The victory was so sweet.
How his fellow golfers felt about his victory was best expressed by his good friend and primary competitor yesterday, Justin Rose, winner of a major in 2013. “If I was going to lose, I’m glad I lost to Sergio. “
H. Rubin, memoirist and author of “Look Backward Angel”, an e-book available at Amazon.