Every time I walk in a bowling alley, I am mesmerized. There’s something about people throwing a ball at pins that’s addicting, especially if they seem to know what they’re doing.
Same goes for walking around a golf course. If I see someone hitting toward the green, I typically crane my neck to see if they made the shot and, whenever possible, congratulate them if they did.
So it goes with watching professional golf on television. I can’t get enough of it. It’s fascinating to see the different swings, the different approaches and, sometimes, the different results. I feel their joy. I feel their pain. I feel it all.
Thus, you would think that the worst thing I could do if I can’t sleep at night is turn on a golf tournament.
The Golf Channel has them on all the time. It’s wonderful. Remember the days when we were lucky to watch a few holes on Saturday and Sunday? Now we can watch someone playing somewhere just about 24/7.
But here’s the catch: Watching our great game on TV is so peaceful, so relaxing, it actually does me a lot of good when insomnia strikes as suddenly as a triple bogey.
Well, most of the time. And I found the exception the other night.
It just so happened that I missed the results of the Mayacoba Golf Classic in Mexico. I had seen the leaderboard at one point during the final round, but I didn’t see the finish and forgot to check later.
So this was the best of all worlds. I was watching it for the first time, there were some big names involved and I could calm my sleepless mind with an hour of enjoyment.
Except for one little problem: It was close. I had to know who won. If I dared to go back to bed without seeing it to the finish, I still wouldn’t be able to sleep no matter how tired I was.
It kept getting more interesting.
As Viktor Hovland and Aaron Wise came down the stretch tied for the lead, I had one prevailing thought: Please, don’t go to a playoff. It’s already approaching 1 a.m. I have to work in the morning. I need to get some sleep.
I thought for sure Wise would drain his makeable birdie putt on No. 18. to take the lead.
I thought for sure Hovland, playing behind Wise, was done when he looked like one of us and badly pushed his second shot on the difficult 16th.
He magically got up and down from the waste bunker.
So they still were tied as Hovland came to No. 18. A birdie would win it. I grew more excited when he wedged to 10 feet.
It was as if I was watching a major, and my favorite player was on the verge of winning.
I practically wanted to get off the sofa and plead with him to knock it in.
I love watching golf, but this is one time I need to turn it off!
If you keep track of the PGA Tour, you know what happened next. There was never a doubt that it was going down.
I usually wait for the post-round interview, but not this time. The TV went off almost as soon as the putt dropped in the cup.
Phew. Off to bed.
I slept like a baby.
And thanks, golf. Not only are you fun to play, you’re fun to watch anytime of the day or night.
It’s truly the best of all worlds.