June 7, 2010 - Ralph Cissne
Englishman Justin Rose’s triumph over rookie Rickie Fowler at the Memorial Tournament represents the tenth 20-something PGA Tour victory this year. Congratulations to Justin and the rest of the young guns. It was quite a show. Last month, during the NBC broadcast of The Players Championship, it was inspiring to hear praise for the mothers that encouraged their sons to play golf. Learning how to win is a process and encouragement from loved ones definitely makes victory, when it comes, a more satisfying and complete experience.
I think of my mother every day and especially when I’m playing golf. She enrolled me in junior golf when I was 14, encouraged me to practice and to always do my best. She played golf and understood it was a game of character, self-reliance and commitment. A competitive spirit, my mother loved gardening, canasta and keeping score. Around our house it was often the girls versus the boys (and the girls usually won) so it was amusing to me when, in a billiard hall several years later, a college date suggested we forgo keeping score. “That way,” she offered. “Everyone wins.” I thought of my mother, smiled and countered, “Who’s your role model, Karl Marx?”A few years before she passed I gave my mother a set of note cards for Mother’s Day. “And what am I going to do with these?” she asked flatly. “All my friends are dead.” I thought for a moment. “I’m your friend,” I said. “You can send them to me.” And she did. Every couple of weeks they’d arrive, often with a photo or cartoon clipping and a brief note about the weather or her garden, but always with a few words of encouragement. I was blessed to have her in my life and trust that you have a friend or two like that. WOG