THE VIRTUE OF COMPETITION
Matthew Fitzpatrick’s win at the U.S. Open was not only riveting to watch, but history in the making. The English had finally turned the tables in Boston. Not since Justin Rose at the 2013 U.S. Open had an Englishman won golf’s most difficult major. The only other was Tony Jacklin back in 1970.
In the face of competition, Fitzpatrick, previously known for his short game and little else, embarked on a rigorous regime to transform his game. He putted with the flagstick in, chipped cross-handed and speed trained till he gained 5mph in under three years. The once short but straight driver of the ball was bombing it past Dustin Johnson at Brookline, surprising everyone.
Competition had driven Fitzpatrick to gain a competitive advantage over the rest of the field at The Country Club. Competition drove Fitzpatrick to become the U.S. Open champion.
Isn’t competition what drives all the professional golf tours of the world? Isn’t competition what draws audiences to watch the best players in the world competing to win week and week out, and to rise to the top in the world rankings?
And if tournament competition is good for Tour professionals and fans, would not the same hold true for the Tour entities themselves?
Note PGA Tour commisioner Jay Monahan’s recent announcement of massive increases in tournament prize money across eight events and the introduction of three international events. Coincidence or not, Monahan’s announcement came directly after the conclusion of the first LIV Golf event in London.
What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander as well is it not?