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Old Guys Rule!

SU field oversight
SU field oversight
Winchester Printers

Greetings From the Booth!

Well, the book is closed on Spring sports at Shenandoah University, as Hornet Baseball will not be headed to the NCAA D-3 Tournament, despite a 31-11 record and a top-20 national ranking for most of the year. SU fell short against Lynchburg last weekend in the ODAC Tournament, giving up 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th in a heartbreaking 9-8 loss in the deciding Game 3. The Hornets had hoped for an at-large berth, but because of a smaller number of “Pool-C” openings this year, were left out. While Shenandoah is certainly one of the best 48 D-3 teams in the country, the lesson learned is to take care of your business and not leave things in the hands of a committee…

What a year it’s been for “old guys!” Earlier in the year, 43 year-old Tom Brady led his Tampa Bay Bucs to a 31-9 Super Bowl win against the Kansas City Chiefs. And this past Sunday, 50 year-old Phil Mickelson held off a star-studded field to win the PGA Championship, becoming the oldest golfer to win a “major.”

In 2009 we saw 59 year-old Tom Watson almost win a British Open, and despite falling just short in a playoff, that is still one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in golf. But that was an “almost.” On Sunday, a golfer who is eligible for the Champions Tour won not the “ Invitational” but one of golf’s four major tournaments. And I don’t think the age thing is getting nearly enough play, and here’s why, IMHO:

There has been a quantum leap in the advancements made in sports medicine, fitness, and nutrition. When you think of a 50 year-old golfer of 40, 30, even 20 years ago, you think of pot bellies and cigarettes hanging out of the mouth. The great Lee Trevino, when he made the move to the former “Senior Tour,” referred to the regular tour as the “flatbelly” circuit, and for good reason. The Senior (now Champions) Tour was anything but.

When you saw Mickelson on Sunday, you saw a player who looked anything but 50. He was trim, fit, and ready for the rigors of four rounds of pressure-packed major tournament golf. He not only used his guile and experience, but was also able to bomb the occasional drive 300-plus when he had to. And, as always, there was the Mickelson magic from the sand and around the greens.

Will we see anything like this again? I don’t know, but if we do, we shouldn’t be surprised. It appears that 50 is the new 30.

Until the next visit from the Booth…GO OLD GUYS! GO HORNETS!


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