Ya Gotta Believe
On July 9, 1973 … the NY Mets were 34-46 and in last place in the National League East. That night at a team meeting, Tug McGraw yelled-out “Ya Gotta Believe!” … which became their anthem as they went on to win the National League pennant.
I kept thinking of that crazy saying while watching the last round of last week’s PGA Championship.
Was Phil’s victory as amazing as the Mets in 1973? Yes. Even more amazing. I still can’t believe it (I was trying to believe!).
Obviously Phil is ridiculously talented. He won a PGA Tour event while still in college. And 30 years later wins a Major as a Senior. Amazing.
If Tiger Woods hadn’t come along … Phil might have dominated … and have become Jack II. Who knows?
He was always a wizard with a sand wedge … and as he says “hits bombs”. Even at 50, he hits “bombs”.
However, his nickname was “Phil the Thrill” … because safe was never the name of his game.
And safe was never the name of his life outside of golf. He was outspoken … and a legendary gambler.
And though he was outspoken … I never thought he seemed sincere. I thought he was arrogant with a fake “folksiness”. That he was smarter than everyone and that life was just a game to be played.
Maybe. Those were just my perceptions.
However, his behavior after winning the PGA was impressive. He was respectful. Respectful of the Wanamaker Trophy … respectful of the other players in the field … and respectful of the fans and interviewers. His post-game interview with the guys from the Golf Channel was perfect. Insightful, thoughtful, generous, funny, and even wise.
His charm seemed genuine.
I guess “Ya Gotta Believe!”
GM/Head PGA Professional
Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386