Remembering Francis Ouimet
Portrait of Francis Ouimet
Dwight D. Eisenhower
While I don’t watch a lot of sports programming on television, I do make an exception every year on Father’s Day when the final round of the U.S. Open Golf Tournament is televised.
If you don’t follow golf, you might not be aware of the fact that an international golf tour is forming which is attracting a number of well known PGA professionals causing them to defect from PGA Tour in order to join the LIV Tour.
The LIV Tour is the brainchild of a well known professional golfer, Greg Norman and is backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund which is contributing unprecedented amounts of money to persuade some of the top names in golf (Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka to just mention a few) to leave the PGA Tour and join the LIV Tour. Supposedly Mickelson received a $200 million signing bonus to join the LIV tour.
To say that the LIV Tour has been controversial is an understatement. After two tournaments the venues have seen picketing from the descendants of victims of 9/11 to call attention to the Saudi government’s role in the tour and its involvement in financially backing the terrorists responsible for the tragic events that took place in American on September 11, 2001.
While the charge that the golfers joining the LIV tour are playing for “blood money” is probably the most severe criticism there are a range of other issues that all challenge the values of honor, humility, integrity and sportsmanship that have been at the root of the game of golf for centuries.
I was reminded of how much the world has changed when I came across a reprint of an article first published in 2013 about journeyman golfer Francis Ouimet’s victory at The Country Club in Brookline, MA, also the home of the recently played 2022 U.S. Open.
Whether you are familiar with Ouimet’s story or not I think you’ll appreciate the values that he exhibited throughout his lifetime, so special that he continues to be feted more than 50 years since his passing.