Sergio Garcia sinks the final putt at the Masters and ends his long wait to win a major golf tournament. So it took seventy something tries at toiling and hitting shots in the bunker before the golf gods rewarded him an ugly green jacket. Okay, it’s not ugly to him but I don’t see too many of those around town. So I hear a lot of pundits calling this redemption. I have been always confused when I hear the redemption word. What makes Sergio Garcia’s victory redemption? Webster dictionary says this:
- An act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed.
- Deliverance; rescue.
- Theology. Deliverance from sin; salvation.
- Atonement for guilt.
- Repurchase, as of something sold.
- Paying off, as of a mortgage, bond, or note.
- Recovery by payment, as of something pledged.
Do you think Garcia’s victory can best described with any of these definitions? If Garcia had gained deliverance or rescued from despair then he got off fairly cheap. I am not buying any of it. That’s just cheapens his victory. I tend to think of this as perseverance through incredible commitment to craft. Garcia has always had sponsorship and been on the tour. He came close to winning but he was never wrongfully kept from winning. If he was unlucky and now he was lucky is a better argument. The difference between winning in golf is so tiny that sometimes bad fortune is part of it. Your putt might hit a dimple in the grass and make you miss. Did Garcia not have any misfortune in this tourney? I saw him miss some shots but so did everybody else. And when Justin Rose missed his putt on the 18th green that was misfortune and his attempt to win the thing. He missed a shot that he normally makes. That’s the beauty of golf. There is no redemption, just less bad breaks and most of all it’s about better consistency in shot making.
Like I said before, Garcia persevered to hang around long enough to win a major. I am sure he had to overcome bad stretches of putting or driving. Like any athlete he has had to deal with injuries, some so nagging that no one knows except him and his circle of people around him. When Garcia was younger he was brass and confident and it rubbed some people the wrong way. His long path to winning the Masters has appeared to humble him. You can see it in his interviews since. This has made him more human and a people’s champion. This doesn’t sound like redemption.
This is just another chapter in the long history of any sport, if you stay true and work hard, your time comes. When you do reach victory lane, never take it for granted and thank those who believed in you. I hope Garcia doesn’t have to play another seventy three tournament’s before he wins again. It would be great for all of us golf hackers to see Garcia find the winning formula, then he can share with us what he did to get better. If he never wins again, then it goes to show you that Garcia is just like the rest of us, once in a while you get the breaks and you persevere to win.
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