Yes good guys can finish first, and second!
It was about two years ago at this same US Senior Open that I first met Gene Sauers and Pat Robertson. That was a very lucky day for me. Not because I’m claiming any influence on Gene’s win because I’m definitely NOT. If I had any influence at all it was very little. There is nothing I could tell Gene Sauers that he doesn’t already know. Not because this time the good swing won, (as mentioned in the video I did in 2014 below) but that I met two of the best guys you could ever have a friendship with.
I can actually feel it in my bones what it is like to spend practically your entire life in golf hoping for a bright moment here and there and I got one when I met Pat Robertson and Gene Sauers. Especially Pat! You ask who is Pat Robertson? No, not the preacher. Pat is probably one of Gene’s best friends throughout life and a person with a keen understanding of the golf business and financial planning and knows Gene like his closest brother. He is the best true blue friend to Gene Sauers.
Gene started playing golf on tour at the age of 19. He is a long time veteran who has stayed out on tour and slugged it out with the best in the business. He has never given up even after enduring adversity like a serious illness that cost him years on tour. He also endured the constant travel away from his family and home in Savannah. All for that quest or addiction of the one moment. That one moment when it all pays off. Miguel Jimenez misses an eight foot putt and Gene’s entire life of golf rests on a five foot putt AND putting is probably Gene’s least favorite thing to do.
I was on the phone with a very close friend of Miguel Jimenez, Juan Guillen and it was a very difficult moment for us both. Two great guys battling it out. It was a shame to see either one lose. Miguel Jimenez is a great guy. Juan is a writer for golf magazines in Spain so I know he was very disappointed but he remained a gentleman throughout. I also must admit that I always carry a very found memory of the friendships I had with so many great Spanish golfers like Monolo Pinero, Seve Ballesterios and his brother, Valentine Barrios, Jose Maria Canizares and so many others.
By the way, Juan is my exclusive contact for our new golf trips to Cuba so if you’re interested in joining us in sunny Cuba for great golf, cigars and rum please call me at 804-378-7456. Juan also heads up a golf academy for Miguel Jimenez every January in Spain.
I have to admit we did have one secret weapon. I told Gene to tell Jimenez that his golf shoes were ugly. Zapatos feos! Don’t know if he did tell him because Gene is just too nice. I doubt he’d said anything. I just wanted to help keep Gene loose.
I am so happy for both Gene and his pal Pat Robertson and appreciate their allowing me to participate in a very small way. It makes a shining moment in my golf career to know I’m friends with an Open Champion.