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July 9, 2013

Inside the mind of an aging golfer

NORMAN — I don’t feel like a fraud. This time around, only a failure after following a Friday 72 and a Saturday 75 with a Sunday 83 at the Westwood Invitational.

As I told fellow First Flight competitor and Westwood hand Tyler Baumann as I walked through the clubhouse late Sunday afternoon, it took me three days to get over the embarrassment of finishing dead last a year ago, but only about half an hour to get over my latest Day 3 dive — not that I was any fun to be around for those 30 minutes — at the state’s largest stroke play golf tournament.

Still, it leaves me wondering what’s next.

I’ve got some vacation coming up, maybe I’ll spend 12 hours a day on the golf course for two or three weeks and see what happens.

Maybe I’ll go much further than that, committing to changing my sleeping habits drastically, waking up at dawn each day and giving my morning to the game, even come the fall, even on Monday’s, when I walk into Bob Stoops weekly media session a few minutes before noon.

As you might have figured, sports writing is a night-owl’s game and always has been. So there’s nothing to keep me from working on my putting stroke year round but my own willingness to turn my life upside down in the pursuit.

Really, smarter and more accomplished people than I have wasted all of their non-working hours on a hopeless pursuit of the little white ball.

Why not me?

Then there’s this crazy idea.

Pursue more tournaments. Be willing to embarrass myself far more than I have already. Who cares if I can’t keep my putting stroke together for even nine holes in a competitive format?

Instead of retreating in my shame (and believe me, that’s what it feels like: shame), seek out even more venues to embarrass myself.

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