Columnist: It doesn’t matter if they win or not

Published 8:48 am Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It doesn’t matter if Tom Watson won the British Open on Sunday or if Lance Armstrong wins the Tour de France this coming weekend in Paris.
The fact that they are still able to compete with the best athletes in their respective sports is enough of a story for me.
At 59 years old, Watson wasn’t expected to do much even after shooting an opening round 65.
Apparently just because he has become chronologically challenged (getting old) he has forgotten how to play golf.
I don’t think so.
Watson has owned the British Open, winning five jugs. It had been a while (1983), but that doesn’t mean he is unable to put together four rounds of golf to be competitive.
Heck, even Tiger Woods couldn’t muster two good rounds of golf and missed the cut.
I know, I couldn’t believe it either.
But back to Watson.
It was painful watching him get so close and then have it slip away.
But like I said earlier, that’s not the story.
Watson played great all four days and came within one putt of giving us perhaps the biggest story of 2009.
It certainly would have been the biggest golf story of this year.
It didn’t happen, so what?
I bet people tuned in to watch the rest of the tournament even without Tiger making it to the weekend.
It’s still a great story and I loved every minute of it.
The Tour de France is wrapping up this week and it appears that unless Armstrong can pull a rabbit out of his hat he will not win.
Again, so what?
He hadn’t ridden in the Tour since 2006, the last of his seven championships.
So did we all expect at the age of 37 that he would just get back on a bike and win arguably the toughest challenge in all of sports?
It would have been great, but it’s probably not going to happen – although I wouldn’t put anything by him at this point.
His ability to jump right back in the mix and stay in contention through the entire Tour is enough for me and it should be for you.
Armstrong, a cancer survivor, is an inspiration. He has beaten the odds and accomplished great things in his life that we can all point to and say “see, you can do it to!”

In an attempt to keep up with my random thoughts throughout the week, I have started writing a blog.
You can check out my ramblings at
I hope you enjoy it.

Scott Novak is sports editor of Leader Publications. He can be reached at or by phone at 687-7702