10 Things Found Cleaning Out My Desk at the Oregonian: No. 10


A collection of random memories found in and around my desk at the Oregonian as I prepare for my Aug. 28 departure.

I have no idea if I was supposed to keep this or not. If not, I suppose the PGA of America is welcome to come collect it. It’s the media bib from the 1999 Ryder Cup outside Boston, the one where Justin Leonard sunk a ridiculous putt and everyone ran all over everywhere, pissing off the Europeans, because golf is not a sport where one runs around all willy nilly*.

I nearly stepped on President George H.W. Bush earlier in the week. Maybe he shouldn’t have had his legs dangling out from his seat on the ground just inside the ropes. Maybe I should have looked up from the notes I was taking — especially given a buddy who was yanking on my arm.

Who’s to say who was right and who was wrong?

The Secret Service, apparently, as my buddy told me they were on high alert until I stepped over the president’s legs. I looked back after I realized what I’d done. The President grinned. Thanks for not having me beaten, sir.

It was a much more chaotic run up another hole to get back to Leonard’s match in time to see the putt that clinched the cup for the United States. A whole bunch of us made that sprint, Tiger Woods among us. He seemed almost like a kid in that moment. Haven’t been a lot of them since.

Got there in time to position myself near Phil Mickelson, as good a place as any to be when the putt fell and the celebration commenced. My first Real Big Event, and getting myself to the right place at the right time seemed like a small victory.

(*Golf needs more willy nilly, not less.)


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