Joe Posnanski With An Inconvenient Truth: Age Does Matter In Golf

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Which is bad for all the Tiger fanboys and associated media co-dependents (I’m looking at YOU, major TV networks!) who are so heavily invested in Tiger one day summiting “Mt. Nicklaus” and planting his black-and-red TW flag.

“Phil Mickelson is six years older (than Tiger) and just won the British Open,” a reader named Eric Dunn tweeted today. “Age is irrelevant in golf.”

No, that’s not it. It’s more that Mickelson is a rare golfer. Saying that age isn’t irrelevant in golf because Mickelson won at 43 is like saying, “Brett Favre played quarterback when he was 41 so age is irrelevant in football” or “Jamie Moyer won 16 games when he was 45 so age is irrelevant in baseball.” Golfers don’t age at precisely the same pace as baseball pitchers, but it was a lot closer than I expected.

I looked at all the major champions going back to 1960, the year Arnold Palmer helped usher in the notion of golf’s Grand Slam as we now think of it. I realize only going back to 1960 does exclude Ben Hogan and Sam Snead and others who played very well into later ages, but those guys almost never played the British Open. Heck, they couldn’t even play all four in the same year because of scheduling. I don’t think it’s a fair comparison.

Posnanski goes on to cite some very compelling (depressing?) stats to bolster his argument that it’s just not gonna happen. You can read them for yourself here.

I have said for a while now I think he’s got 2 more majors in him, both Green Jackets. Due to the back injury, however, I am downgrading that to just one more major, still a Green Jacket, before other injuries ultimately force him into an early retirement around 44.

About the Author

Steve Czaban is a 25 year sports radio veteran, who hosts an afternoon drive show in Washington D.C. He also appears on "Bob and Brian" in Milwaukee. "Czabe" also writes and edits his own commentaries for www.czabe.com and other on-line and print publications. He can be reached at czabe@yahoo.com.

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