As many of you open this column and read it this morning you may be doing so while golf history is taking place across the ocean. This morning Jack Nicklaus may well play his final round of competitive golf on the venue that has long been golf's hallowed ground; The Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland. The round is televised on cable channel TNT which will begin its coverage of the British Open at 7:00 A.M. which is noon in Scotland. Jack tees off somewhere around 8:45 our time.
If he plays well he will continue on through the weekend as is the custom at a golf tournament of four rounds when a player makes the cut; plays well enough to outscore the majority of the other golfers in the field. Personally, I hope he makes the cut, but a part of me hopes he doesn't. I want to see him play well, I truly do. But the competitive fire which once burned brightly in the man is now but a dim flicker. Tom Weiskopf once said that Jack Nicklaus did not win golf tournaments by his talent but by his shear will to win. Nicklaus himself has said that will is now dim.
No, I would like to see Jack cross the Swilcun Burn once last time today. I would like to see him accorded the adulation of the legend that he is as he strides the eighteenth fairway; to see the masses huddle in around him to say farewell to the man who elevated golf to what it is today. The crowds should be massive today as they follow the Golden Bear. Such would not be the case over the weekend if he has dropped out of contention. No, they would be following such folks as Tiger or Ernie or Vijay or perhaps one of England's own as they contend for the Open Championship. And Jack would be left alone. Not a fitting send-off for golf's greatest of all time.
Moses led Israel out of the bitter bondage of Egypt. Many leaders would follow him; kings and judges. But Moses was the first legendary leader of the Israelites. He was the Deliverer, the Lawgiver, the forerunner of the Christ who would completely save and deliver God's people. He led God's people for forty years and brought them to the cusp of the Promised Land. But, alas, he was not to be allowed to enter. God, the Judge, determined that Moses would "not cross over there." Deuteronomy 34:4
Moses was accorded a look at the Promised Land from Mount Nebo. He was given the accolades saved for great men. No, he received no grand send-off from the Israelites. Instead, he got to spend his last hours alone with God on Mount Nebo, just the two of them, the way it was when he first started on his long journey as the Deliverer. "So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day." Deuteronomy 34:5, 6 A fitting send-off.
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