A gentleman's gentleman

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Trevor Immelman, Zach Johnson, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and their other Masters-winning friends seem to have something in common other than the color green.

Character.

We all know about Phil and Tiger -- two of the best golfers around, but also two of the most popular athletes in the world.

But watching Johnson, last year's surprise Masters winner, slipping the green jacket Sunday on Immelman -- and then hearing the South African's extraordinarily gracious comments to the crowd -- reminds you that these guys aren't just great golfers. They're also terrific people of great character.

Immelman congratulated Johnson on being an exemplary role model and champion. And he is. Johnson is a modest, spiritual young family man whose thoughts turned to Jesus Christ even during the final round last year, and who planted a memorable kiss on his 4-month-old son after winning.

Likewise, Immelman showed himself to be a gentleman's gentleman after donning the green jacket -- thanking not only his family for their many sacrifices, but everyone who did anything, large or small, to help pull off yet another masterful Masters. The groundskeepers, the Augusta National members, the volunteers. Everyone.

Immelman plays golf the way it's supposed to be played. Some have compared his swing to that of Ben Hogan's, regarded as among the best ever.

But just as importantly, Immelman conducts himself the way a gentleman should.

Being a gentleman is indicative of character. And good character seems to be a hallmark of Masters champions.

Yet, when it comes to trying to predict who will win which sporting events, character is hardly ever mentioned as a factor. We look at size and strength and quickness and past achievements and such. We talk in cliches about measuring the "intangibles" in sports, but even there we fail to take character into consideration.

This page remarked last year that Zach Johnson may have come "out of the blue" only because we weren't looking. The same may be true of Trevor Immelman. Few predicted he'd win this year, simply because he wasn't on the radar screen.

Well, radar has a nasty habit of not picking up character.

Comments (24) Add comment
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patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/15/08 - 04:42 am
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It's good the ACES mentions

It's good the ACES mentions character. It certainly wouldn't appear in any AP report. (another difference between left and right.)

christian134
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christian134 04/15/08 - 05:37 am
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It was rather wonderful

It was rather wonderful considering the climate of the times....Great article Chronicle and a good morning patricia....right on target....:-)

shivas
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shivas 04/15/08 - 06:51 am
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Yes, let's just forget all

Yes, let's just forget all the gambling problems Phil has had.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/15/08 - 07:16 am
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Shivas, once again you miss

Shivas, once again you miss the point. Why is that?

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/15/08 - 07:16 am
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good morning christian134

good morning christian134

Michael Ryan
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Michael Ryan 04/15/08 - 07:45 am
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Character isn't the absence

Character isn't the absence of flaws -- it's the triumph over them!

myobgdi
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myobgdi 04/15/08 - 07:59 am
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I agree with the writer of

I agree with the writer of this editorial except on one point. I do not think Woods has the same grace and character as do Mickleson, Johnson and Immelman. He is self involved, and cold to galleries and fellow golfers. I have yet to hear him say anything gracious ever! A great golfer? NO doubt. I'm still hoping he develops a little humanity.

alumna
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alumna 04/15/08 - 08:41 am
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myobgdi, I disagree with you

myobgdi, I disagree with you on Tiger. I think he's very gracious toward the gallery. I've witnessed this firsthand, and watched it on t.v. in the tournaments he's played outside of Augusta. He nearly always acknowledges the gallery's applause, and probably more importantly, he accepts full responsibility if he makes a mistake. I heard him remark in an interview that he didn't miss a putt because someone in the gallery coughed, he missed it because he wasn't concentrating well enough. I think he manages his fame with class.

shivas
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shivas 04/15/08 - 08:49 am
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What is the point,

What is the point, patriciathomas? That the AC picks and chooses and exposes the flaws of only the people they disagree with? Kind of like the far-right media.

DuhJudge
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DuhJudge 04/15/08 - 08:53 am
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This level of golf isn't

This level of golf isn't about being human....it's about being superhuman. And after it is over, you take off the cape and tights and reveal that you have qualitites you can share with the rest of humanity. An appreciation and respect for God, family, health, help, tradition, values, perfection, skill, practice, organization, and rules.

soldout
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soldout 04/15/08 - 09:03 am
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Wood's public weakness is his

Wood's public weakness is his foul mouth. Him not being a Christian makes that flaw understandable. Pray for him because all his money won't buy him salvation. If all Christians made Jesus as big in their life as Woods makes golf in his; what a wonderful country this would be.

Republicant
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Republicant 04/15/08 - 09:09 am
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Somebody has to bring Jesus

Somebody has to bring Jesus into golf. A foul mouth is a sure way to hell. Ridiculous.
Tiger is a world wide icon, the most recognized athlete in the world. If he starts letting the press and fans into his life too much, he would lose something. Think about the top movie stars. Guys like Deniro, Pacino. You never saw them out at the LA nightspots, crashing cars and grabbing any girl that walked by. And they have become legendary because of their mystery.

deekster
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deekster 04/15/08 - 09:13 am
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Character is "what you are

Character is "what you are when no one is looking". Reputation is "what others see". Golf has some unique differences from other sports. The main one is that golf is "an individual against a goal". Not a team event. It demands individual discipline and concentration. Each and every stroke is there for the world to see. Cheaters are not allowed. Hence the field of those who are "great golfers".

soldout
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soldout 04/15/08 - 09:58 am
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Good to see the name of Jesus

Good to see the name of Jesus is still upsetting people. That shows it has the power. No other name disturbs people so much; that should tell us something.

PLAYLIKETHUNDER4
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PLAYLIKETHUNDER4 04/15/08 - 10:27 am
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well shivas....i see we heard

well shivas....i see we heard from the rectum this am.....btw...i play golf,follow golf...where's this gambling crap coming from...let us know after you get through picking your lotto,cash four,powerball,etc. numbers.
you boys in the hood need to pick and choose yo battles , this ain't one of them.

deekster
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deekster 04/15/08 - 10:56 am
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It resounds through the ages,

It resounds through the ages, From Pilot's voice to the 21st century, "What will you do with this man Jesus"? An the "crowd" continues to cry "crucify him, crucify him". Satan jumps for joy when his "blind imps" cry "Do away with this Jesus". We don't want to hear his words. "For there is no other name, given under heaven, whereby men might be saved". The name JESUS and its affect on the "ungodly" remind me of the old vampire movies and the power of the crucifix to burn the evil vampire.

DuhJudge
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DuhJudge 04/15/08 - 11:31 am
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Just because we have a chunk

Just because we have a chunk of heaven right here on Washington Road, you should not be confused. The professionals that played last week are superheros not angels.

Kenya_Beard
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Kenya_Beard 04/15/08 - 02:31 pm
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Purvis is exactly right.

Purvis is exactly right. Woods is a Buddahist (forgive spelling if incorrect) and when you hear him say GD or the "F" word it makes him rather unappealing. Kind of like Jerimiah Wright. I have no respect for either

john
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john 04/15/08 - 02:57 pm
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I know many Christians who

I know many Christians who say BS or drop F bombs occasionally. Lighten up Francis.

soldout
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soldout 04/15/08 - 03:17 pm
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If you hear those words from

If you hear those words from a Christian it is one that hasn't renewed their mind or they don't guard what they see or hear. Those words can only come out of our mouth if they have been planted in our minds. Sometimes these are the same folks who say, "I can watch or hear anything and it doesn't affect me". That is never the case; and we all are effected by what we see and year. Garbage in and garbage out is hard to stop.

mgroothand
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mgroothand 04/15/08 - 03:22 pm
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In the hallowed halls of

In the hallowed halls of sports such as golf and the likes of Tiger Woods the A/C is right about the gentleman's gentleman. A few rungs lower on that ladder of golf I have witnessed some slobs displaying tempertantrums their own mothers wouldn't believe. It's not always a gentleman's game, the gentlemen mature when their game improves.

shivas
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shivas 04/15/08 - 05:08 pm
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Christians have a great

Christians have a great reputation for persecuting people, and these blogs are a great example of their perceived moral superiority. They hate a winner such as Tiger Woods because he's not white, and has mass appeal to all children. pureinvestments, you're a great example of what you just wrote: garbage in, garbage out. When you have no intelligence, and feel the world has let you down, then be a judgmental christian as the folks on this blog site are. However, judge not lest........

soldout
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soldout 04/15/08 - 06:03 pm
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The world will let you down

The world will let you down but Jesus Christ will never let you down. If a person who curses the creator of the universe is to be looked up to for moral character by our children; we are in trouble. He is an excellent golfer but his relationship to God is a little more important. Men are never to be our standard of character; they will always let us down.

Republicant
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Republicant 04/16/08 - 07:32 am
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Oh shut up purvis. Nobody

Oh shut up purvis. Nobody cares. You guys ruin all this with your silly talk.

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