My how the times have changed. Just thirteen years ago a young man from Texas named Tom Kite was the all-time leader in money earned on the PGA tour for a career. He did it while serving as the reigning U. S. Open Champion. On this date in 1993 Kite cemented his all-time lead with a stirring victory in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic at La Quinta, California. The Hope is one of those marathon tournaments that is played over five days and ninety holes.
Twice over the previous ten years Kite had lost the tournament in sudden death playoffs. In other words, he came to the end of the tournament tied with someone else instead of being the outright leader. In 1993 Kite left no doubt about who won. He finished the Hope in thirty-five under par. No, you're not seeing things. That's THIRTY-FIVE UNDER PAR. Let me reiterate; 35, THIRTY-FIVE, XXXV UNDER PAR. His total score was a 325 which broke the tournament record of 331 shared by Corey Pavin and Mark O'Meara as well as the PGA 90-hole record held by Andrew Magee and D. A. Weibring.
In his finish Kite birdied the last four holes. The winner's check upped his lifetime earnings from the PGA Tour to over $7.9 million. Huh? Is that figure right? But didn't both Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh surpass that figure in a single year? Got news for ya. Some of the founding fathers of the PGA whose names are synonymous with golf never made as much in their careers as the winner of the U. S. Open will take home this year. Walter Hagen, Jimmy Demaret, Ben Hogan. They made less than the U. S. Open winner will make playing four rounds.
That's just the way it is. When my Dad retired in 1982 I saw his last paycheck. Dad worked at a feed mill in South Solon, Ohio that was tied to Ralston Purina. After thirty-two years of service with the company he was making the princely sum of $4.37 an hour. With overtime he was doing quite well by the standards of the day. He retired to a house that was paid for and a monthly income that exceeded what he got while he was working. Things change in the world of finance.
So why do people put so much trust in the almighty dollar? Every time I think about trying to get ahead I think of the advice of the Lord's brother. "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit'; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.' " James 4:13-16 All the fortunes in the world mean nothing if you're outside the will of God.
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