Weblog: Sports editor's view
Sudden death more humane than gallant Tom's excruciating one
WELL haven't we all been spoiled for sporting drama over the last couple of days?
England's Ashes win this morning raised not only spirits but surprise levels, and all this after Sunday's awful conclusion to an engrossing Open Championship at Turnberry.
Wasn't that horrific play-off a tremendous advertisement for more sudden-death versions of tie-breakers?
Play-offs are great in just about every sport, no matter what the boring old farts traditionalists will tell you.
Football play-offs - great. American football play-offs - great. Baseball play-offs - the only games worth watching. Ice hockey play-offs - not quite worth watching but surely better than the regular-season games.
Golf play-offs? Hmm. Not good when its a whole round - like the US Open. And obviously not good at all when it's a four-hoile play-off that is over after each contestant has played their first shot - as was the case in Tom Watson v Stewart Cink.
As the crowd swooped to try to find the legendary Tom's tee shot. not only did you get the impression that the it-doesn't-really-matter-if-he-misses-it putt for a sixth Major win was probably fdar more important than thought at the time, but also that four holes would be three too many to sort this one out.
I can't have been alone in switching over while Cink's sword plunged over and over again into the by-now-cold carcass of Watson's championship chances (this may have been why he tried to avoid him by hiding in the long grass for the entire play-off).
A sad end to a great tournament. Why not jut start with a putt from two feet out, then keep moving the ball back a foot until someone misses. That's a proper play-off.