April 08, 2004

Moment of joy, moment of pique, moment of mourning

The 2004 Masters opened today and there's just something special about that tournament. Having the first day end with the youngest player in the field leading while the veterans struggle is just the kind of shake-it-up result you expect from a challenging course. There's something about the Masters that also ticks me off, because of the whole issue of women not being allowed as members at Augusta, but I'm not going to get into that now as it has been discussed to death in years past.

Both matters and this opening day were overshadowed by the death of caddie Bruce Edwards this morning. If you follow golf at all, you can't forget the scene at the first day of the 2003 U.S. Open when Tom Watson finished up an astonishing and touching round with Bruce, his health already visibly deteriorated, by his side as they both struggled for composure when the crowd showed its appreciation of their last moment in the sun together.

Caddies have what seems to me to be a very odd and unique place in the world of pro golf, especially on the mens' side. That Watson and Edwards were a team for so very long, and friends in the deal, spoke of respect in a world of sports (as a whole, not specifically just golf) where earnings, image and titles are the currency, not the esteem of your employee. Tom Watson may never win another green jacket, but his kind of class will always be in style. And Bruce Edwards will always be a part of his game.