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PGA Oakland Hills
Written By: Steven Gribin on Aug 14 2008
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When it comes to Sports, God really helped the PGA last weekend.  Think about it.  Just how much time does he (or she if you ask most of my female friends) have for the major Championships?  In April, God is working really hard to get all those baseball prayers answered, his favorite sport; June rolls around and he definitely does not have time for the pro golfer because he is taking care of all the prayers of average golfers; July follows and he’s busy with parents prayers for the best summer vacations imaginable so he has little time for the professional golfer.  Finally August steps to our calendar and God usually has way too much on his plate with school starting. But this year, this year, God had time for the PGA.  Michael Phelps did not need his help; most of the baseball teams are through asking for miracles; the Redeem Team, the beach volleyball teams, the women’s softball and men’s baseball teams don’t seem to need him, so the PGA got their prayers answered over the weekend, quickly turning what might have been one of the worst PGA’s into one of the greatest.

Everyone at the PGA, their employees, the players, the fans and the media, were all using every prayer we’d saved, asking him to bring rain.

And he came through.  Boy did he every.  See, the PGA had spent many hours looking at the Farmer’s Almanac - you know, the book that tells you about weather over the last 100 years. It told them there would be rain all week.  They decided to set the golf course KNOWING the rain would come.  Oakland Hills, already one of the hardest designed golf courses in the world, was set up even harder.  Fast and hard and plenty of rough, added to already impossible greens made for near impossible conditions.  Without rain, Oakland Hills was quickly becoming a nervous proposition.  The players were doing more than mumbling, and the crowds were doing, well, nothing.  It was quieter than a tennis match.  In my first two days on the course, I heard a total of 5 roars.

But He came through.  With the rain and the colder weather, Oakland Hills produced a tournament for the ages with three players, each from different levels of the game giving those in attendance and those watching on TV an amazing Sunday afternoon.

Padrig Harrington (yes, I am gloating here, as I chose him to win in last week’s newsletter) came from 6 shots down: his win was the 3rd major in just 13 months, and we now have, without a doubt, the number 2 player in the world.  We have found the player that wants the spotlight next to Tiger.  What a comment he made after the Championship, “I can’t wait 7 months for the next major.”

In Ben Curtis, we found a player that could deal with the next to impossible layout of Oakland Hills.  A player that loves hard courses; a player we never think about; a player, even in those NFL logoed shirts, flies totally under the radar but somehow managed to hang when all the others couldn’t handle the Oakland Hills design.

In Sergio Garcia, we found a new man, a man who truly wants a major; a man who is now taking responsibility for his actions; a new Sergio.  What fun it was to follow him during his 41st attempt to get his first major.  Does he still miss putts? Does he still make that one silly mistake at the most inopportune time? Yes.  But for the first time, I saw him take ownership of those mistakes.  And mark my words: Sergio will win a major in 2009. 

This was a great PGA.  It’s just too bad that without Tiger in the field, there were not more people watching on Sunday.  This is the kind of Championship that would grow the game.  It is a Championship I will not soon forget.

Thanks, God, for taking the time to answer our prayers.

Ok, before I start getting the feedback about the use of God in the above writing, please know I am just trying to have a little fun.  I know many of my listeners take God very seriously, but I hope you will allow me the little banter of fun.  And who knows, maybe I’m right, maybe God does have time for the prayers of golfers.  God knows, we all try to use him for that one putt to win our match. 

I want to take a second and talk about golf at the Olympics. I am totally against golf in the Olympics.  It’s not that I don’t love golf, you all know I do, it’s just that I don’t like having any sport in the Olympics that already gives the world plenty of chance to have the best play together year round. It’s like Tennis in the Olympics, how silly is that?  We are going to see the same players playing in another event that we could have watched during any other month.  I truly believe the Olympics’ should be for sports that are not center stage.  When else do we get to see the greatest women’s softball players or the best badminton players?  Let’s leave the Olympics’ for those sports… I don’t need more tennis or golf, or even basketball for that matter.  I want Michael Phelps and archery.

Finally, as we finish our summer vacations, I want to say how important these last three months were to me and my family.  I hate getting older (I just hate the alternative more) and with each passing year, I know that the summer vacations with my children are almost over.  So, take a few minutes to love your kids, they’re leaving the nest sooner than later.

 




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About Steven Gribin

Steven Gribin is one of golf’s premier analysts. His work for ESPN Radio, Yahoo Sports and XM’s PGA Tour Radio has led him to receiving a number of broadcasting awards including the International Network of Golf Radio Show of the year in 2007 and the PGA Bob Galt Media Award for Broadcast Excellence.

For 8 years, Gribin has brought a distinctive, professional and entertaining approach to golf. After a successful career in the radio business, Gribin chose to change his career path and move behind the microphone hosting a local golf radio program in Dallas/Fort Worth.

“I never thought I could make a living playing the game, as I am nowhere near good enough. But with over 20 years of radio background, I thought I could create an entertaining golf show,” Gribin said. “I also thought the metroplex was in dire need of a “real” golf program.” “Out Of Bounds” the golf show began airing in April of 2000.

In 2003, Gribin moved his show to ESPN Radio in Dallas. Over the last 5 years, “Sunday Tee Time” has grown from a local golf broadcast to being aired on over 350 ESPN Radio stations throughout America. Gribin brings his listeners the best in golf interviews including exclusive time with Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam and most of golf’s Top 50 players.

During the last year, Steven Gribin has brought his entertaining approach to golf to numerous new venues. He writes a weekly newsletter read by more than 25,000 golfers. He writes and creates video streaming for Yahoo.com/sports/golf and does a weekly 20 Q&A with different tour players.

For more than 20 years, Steven Gribin worked in radio sales and management. He spent the majority of his career in the area of sports marketing.

In addition to talking and writing about golf, Gribin owns The Golfers Home. The Golfers Home operates the radio shows as well as a golf membership program and a golfing division that takes over 3000 listeners to play golf annually.

He is married to CBS Entertainment Reporter, Sandie Newton. They have two boys that both play junior golf; Douglas, 18 and William, 13.

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