Sam bombed out today, shooting 83 and missing the cut. It was a combination of bad luck and bad shooting. He was plus seven after six holes, plugging in a bunker on the second hole and finding two separate bunkers on the sixth.
But I'm really proud of him because he never lost his spirit and he ended with birdie on what was a tough day. He still is smiling and says he wants to go play a links course with me and is looking forward to his next tournament. Two years ago, he would have stopped trying after the sixth hole and he would have been miserable for the rest of the round. It is nice to see him mature through adversity, even though of course it would be even nicer if he continued his hot streak and was contending today for the trophy.
I really have a lot to learn from him. Last night, as I struggled to sleep last night, I kept thinking of how my books never won the equivalent of the English Boys, yet how close I also came to winning the big prize. And, when I reflected, I knew I should be like Sam, to just enjoy playing (or in my case writing) and be proud of what I have achieved. He got into the biggest golf tournament for juniors in Europe and he was more than competitive. I've gotten paid for watching him and others and writing about it.