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Keyboard Cat Plays Off Tom Watson

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It was slightly heart-rending to watch the Keyboard Cat of age and cruel fate play Tom Watson off the stage at the British Open. It was the missed ping-pong ball thrown at the final bucket of the Bozo Grand Prize game, the one where he would have gotten the full $50 no kid ever won, because that fifth bucket was a good five hundred feet further out than the remaining buckets. If you missed everything we just talked about, it means you did not watch Bozo the Clown on WGN as a child, and were probably doing something productive with your time like being outside and having friends. We apologize. ↵

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↵Anyway, he does get a tremendous amount of money for placing second, a fact lost in all the geezer hoorah-ing about his performance in the face of being 59 years old. He gets 450,000 pounds for his trouble. He also gets to be the inspirational old guy for old guys everywhere. The problem for golf as a whole, however, is that this will do diddly-squat for the popularity of the sport as a whole where it needs it most: among the young, and among Americans period. ↵

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↵The common argument is that this proves golf is a game you can play your entire life, a complete and total untruth in one respect: no one can afford to play the game until they turn thirty, and even then the time constraints of the game and its diminution in the importance of corporate life have cornered it even further. As a sport in the United States, it is on the wane, and that is not a blogger hurling a Molotov Cocktail in the name of inciting enraged golf fans. That is from the mouth of Greg Norman, pro golfer and golfwear impressario. ↵

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↵⇥"America is absolutely dead, and it doesn't look like it's going to come back for quite a while, to tell you the truth," Norman said. "We see, in our business, the rest of the world leading the comeback from the recession before the United States. I think the United States has got to get a lot of understanding of regulations that are being put in place by President Obama. ↵⇥

↵⇥"I spent time in China two weeks ago. I think I've got a lot of belief in China, like a lot of what the rest of the world does, not just in resources, but in development." ↵⇥

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↵Blame the recession: the rule seems to be the less money coming in, the less time spent on the golf course in the form of "business luncheons" ↵that take exactly the time one might take to finish 18 holes of golf. ↵The sport functions less like the NFL or the NBA, and is instead just like any other luxury good: inflated in status and price when the economy rolls, and flailing when the bears tromp in heralding the arrival of recession. Tom Watson's place in the sport's recent swan dive in the U.S. is as a nice storyline, and nothing more, since he inspires a demographic the PGA already owns lock, stock, and barrel: those already hooked on the game. Or as you know them, "old guys." ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.