To me, the most overused term in sports these days is the word choke. If someone has a chance to win something and they don’t, it is said that they choked it away.
Dustin Johnson, who five years ago lost a shot at a playoff for the PGA title by committing a penalty on the 18th hole by grounding his club in a bunker, had a chance at redemption yesterday with a 12-foot eagle putt that would have given him the prestigious US Open championship. That putt didn’t go in, so he then had about a 5-foot putt that would have forced a playoff between himself and Jordan Spieth.
But that too didn’t go in, leaving young Mr. Spieth as the youngest US Open champion in over 80 years and only the sixth person to win both a Masters and an Open in the same year.
I always feel bad for those who do their best in the sports world but don’t make it to their goal. We are all too easy to ridicule them, failing to realize that sometimes when you work hard for something, it doesn’t quite just happen. We remember the Buffalo Bills for losing four straight Super Bowls, but not for winning four straight AFC championships. Bill Buckner had a great career, but all we seem to remember him for is that ground ball at Shea Stadium in 1986 that helped the Mets avoid losing the World Series to Bill’s Boston Red Sox.
Keep two things in perspective about Dustin Johnson: he won over $850,000 yesterday finishing second, and his wife is Paulina Gretzky, Wayne’s daughter. All and all, Dustin’s not doing so bad in life.