Musicians like Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, and Bob Dylan continue to tour the globe. What would drive these men, all capable of retiring comfortably, to continue marching on?
The thrill of the crowds keeps them coming back.
This Sunday there was wonderful sentiment attached to the victory of 62-year-old Jay Haas on the PGA Tour Champions. He became the second-oldest winner in that tour’s history.
‘The ball doesn’t know how old you are,’ he laughed afterwards.
But the fans do.
Tiger Woods was the headline 40-year-old this week after withdrawing from the Safeway Open, which marked the start of his comeback to professional golf.
The outpouring of negativity surrounding his return has been incredible. The man is flawed, like all men, and made mistakes. But if there is one good thing in his life, it’s golf.
He, like those ageing musical geniuses, only wants to perform for the crowds again.
We all slave away on our handicaps and he was the icon who inspired us. He still motivates European golfer Chris Wood, who spoke out on Tuesday.
‘There would have been that buzz of Tiger’s back, so it’s really disappointing for myself as a golf fan…because he was my golfing hero.
‘I don’t think he’ll ever say it’s over, but you never know with Tiger. He doesn’t deserve for his career to come to a finish in this way. He deserves to go out in all the style that his records still deserve.’
People are fickle, that’s not news, but doesn’t the out-and-out best golfer of this millennium deserve more respect? He certainly gets it from the professionals, but the public is a different beast.
It was on the advice of Woods that Team USA captain Davis Love III kept Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth in the roster for the Ryder Cup Saturday Four-balls.
Players look up to Woods, but the public seems to be turning on him.
I remember interviewing Jay Haas at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2012, when 12 senior players competed alongside the 12 regulars and he said it was a real privilege to plat in front of such huge crowds at his age.
Don’t for a second forget that professionals are people, driven by their love of the game. A lot of the time they just want to play well and, maybe, inspire a few fans along the way.