“He could miss.”
“Nah, he’s not gonna miss.”
“He could miss.”
This conversation, however apt for Sunday’s Seahawk playoff win, actually took place last June on the top row of the grandstand by the 17th green at Chambers Bay Golf Course, the back of which directly overlooked the teebox on 18, that day, that Sunday of the U.S. Open.
Dustin Johnson had teed off there, minutes before, hitting a monster drive, and then he hit a wedge in, needing one putt to win the Open. A two-putt would force a playoff with Jordan Spieth. A three-putt, well hell, you know what happened.
The other half of that conversation in the grandstand was a shooter from an out-of-state paper, equipped with a ridiculously long lens on his camera through which he could actually see Johnson putting on 18. I had a radio feed in my ear, and I knew the roar of the gallery 450 yards up the course would tell me just as well.
“He could miss,” I said, as DJ readied to putt. The photograper had no rooting interest, insofar as wanting Johnson to win, but he wanted him to make the putt so there wouldn’t be a playoff on Monday. He’d won the drawing earlier in the day in the press tent for the newsies that would get to play Chambers Bay Monday with the Open setup.
“Nah, he’s not gonna miss,” he said. Johnson missed, the worst outcome for the guy — a playoff, it looked like, and no round for the press hacks. And then Johnson missed the comebacker, and our shooter was a happy man, almost as happy as Spieth.
Nobody thought Blair Walsh, a really good kicker, could miss the chip-shot field goal to win the game for the Vikings. He missed, and the Seahawks, like Spieth, got a win they were lucky to have. Is it true Walsh’s family immediately changed their names, moved out of Minnesota to someplace warm, and hired people to make sure Daddy never found them? That’s cold, right there.
While the Hawks were playing in sub-zero weather, Spieth was on Maui, winning a golf tournament by eight strokes. Pretty good player, Spieth is, but that’s pure luck right there.