May 06, 2010

Golfer's honorable loss.: A golfer shanks to allow another to win a spot.

posted by bobfoot to other at 12:32 AM - 23 comments

I was raised to be nice and respect others' feelings. I was also raised to win. I would never respect someone who threw a game to allow me to win. On the face of it, this is a nice story, but I just can't put my arms around it.

posted by bobfoot at 12:35 AM on May 06, 2010

While Whybark may have thought he was doing something sportsman-like, in reality he just said "I'm better than you so I'm going to give you this so you don't feel bad." Completely a self-aggrandizing dick move.

Also, there's not a single quote from the "winner" about the gesture. That pretty much sums it up for me about how he felt about it.

posted by Jeffwa at 06:29 AM on May 06, 2010

Guess the "true" "athletes" who only think of themselves, can not understand why a player would do this. Guess you will have to just except it for what it is worth. One young man, who already made the grade, giving a friend, a chance to play again. Could it be that Whybark really does have a heart and has shown it here. His team approved. Happened in NAIA. Probabaly never happen in the NCAA.

posted by coach at 07:50 AM on May 06, 2010

This is going to turn into the same argument we've had at Sportsfilter a dozen times or more, so I'll resist throwing my thoughts at it yet again, other than to say two things: 1) I hope no one had a bet on the outcome, and 2) what a stupid system that wouldn't, in the event of the individual winner being from the winning team and therefore already qualified, give the spot to the individual runner-up (or highest placed not-already-qualified player).

From a golf slant, this is about as far from the spirit of integrity and sportsmanship I've come to know and love about the game as it's possible to get without cheating. There's nothing sporting about deliberate capitulation - especially for the "winner".

posted by JJ at 08:36 AM on May 06, 2010

What bothers me is that Whybark made a point to say that he intentionally shanked the drive. Which, in turn, gets him a lot of press and diminishes the 'winner'. Which, to me, makes this the opposite of generous.

posted by DudeDykstra at 09:13 AM on May 06, 2010

The beginning of the article references two situations, "a moment when a girl is brought in on crutches to score a layup to break a record" and "someone being carried around the field after she twisted her ankle rounding the bases," (Sorry, I can't seem to find a link for the first one, but I remember that story as well.) that are true displays of sportsmanship, where a team respects an rewards an opponent for an accomplishment that was nearly stolen due to injury. It is not sportsmanship, however, to throw a match so that someone else can win just because you like him and think he deserves it.

As Jeffwa said, the fact that there is no comment from the winner is evidence that he also didn't want to win that way. Furthermore, if Whybark really felt the need to do this, the least he could do was keep it quiet.

posted by bender at 10:10 AM on May 06, 2010

Also not mentioned is whether or not a different golfer would've gotten that spot based on some other criteria. If that's the case, then Whybark could've more or less screwed someone else out of a spot who would have otherwise deserved it.

posted by Ricardo at 10:34 AM on May 06, 2010

I hope the kid who was given the win beats Whybark in the Championships, I am a St. Francis grad so I should support my fellow future Alumni, but you never throw a game. The St. Francis golf team is very good every year. I would question the fact that I gave a full ride to a kid who threw a match.

On a related note, I played football at St Francis and would like to say the reason we were 4-38 over my 4 years is we "Looking out for the little guy."

posted by Debo270 at 11:17 AM on May 06, 2010

4-38? I'm guessing "the little guy" was the description for most of your linemen. ;)

posted by grum@work at 11:38 AM on May 06, 2010

I'm guessing "the little guy" was the description for most of your linemen. ;)

Yeah, you nailed it. I was a starting guard my freshman year at 6 foot/ 220pds. We also had 3 head coaches in 4 years. Fun times.

posted by Debo270 at 12:08 PM on May 06, 2010

The f'd up part about this story is Whybark wasn't on the verge of winning when he decided to bestow his generous gift on his opponent. They were in a playoff, on the tee - so the outcome could have gone either way.

What he did was deprive the other guy of an opportunity to earn his spot fair and square, and in the process covered up the fact that he was not the inevitable victor and very well may have lost even with his A game. Very lame.

posted by MW12 at 01:34 PM on May 06, 2010

I think if you are going to do this for someone you like, you dont make a show of it then admit it. Play the hole and miss a put or two. Hitting one like i do(40 ft right) is almost insulting.

posted by Debo270 at 02:03 PM on May 06, 2010

eh, I'm surprised at the angst and double standard, here. a) nowhere is there any indication that this spot would've gone to yet a third person if Whybark had won ... in fact the article goes to lengths to point out the opposite - that Whybark would've had the double honor at Nationals. So, truly the only two people affected by this are the two individual golfers. b) the lack of quotes from the "winner" means absolutely nothing to me - I certainly don't view it as gospel that Doran was peeved about this.

The only slightly negative aspect of this that I can go along with is Whybark making this public. A simple wink and shrug of the shoulder (or nothing at all) would've had the same end-result, without any fanfare bestowed on Whybark.

Otherwise, who stands to be offended by this. What about the umpteen-million discussions on this site about teams that run up the score on other teams. So, in those situations, the winning football team should take it easy on the losing team and just run up the gut, since the outcome is not in doubt and out of respect to their competitor ... but Whybark is a cheat and a dick for stepping to the side for someone who was already at the peak of making it to the next step? True, this gesture occurred during a match whose outcome was still in doubt and it resulted in a loss, unlike the football analogy above. But the overall end-result to Whybark was not in jeopardy, at least as far as Whybark was concerned. He was already going to Nationals in the capacity that was important to him, so respecting a qulaity competitor and not running up the score/losing were one-in-the-same to him.

I compare this to the '99 Ryder Cup ... the US had secured the Cup after their improbable (and prematurely celebrated) comeback. Subsequently, Payne Stewart concedes a putt to Colin Montgomerie, which breaks a decently-likely halve, because a) it didn't matter to the overall outcome and b) more importantly, Stewart respected his competitor but didn't respect the treatment the fans had been giving him. I didn't hear a peep about that being a dick move ... because it wasn't. The only person it harmed was Stewart's overall Ryder Cup record. The only people it benefited was Montgomerie ... and those appreciate sportsmanship.

I see some aspects of this that mean Whybark isn't necessarily the second-coming, but I hardly think he should be vilified at all.

posted by littleLebowski at 02:05 PM on May 06, 2010

From the story: he earned respect from anyone reading this story.

As we see here, there are rational opinions both supporting and condemning the move. Nice that the author made the decision for all of us what our opinion should be. Otherwise, we might have thought about it.

posted by tahoemoj at 04:21 PM on May 06, 2010

what makes what Payne Stewart did different from what Whybark did is that Stewart conceded a putt, he didn't purposely hit a poor shot. It was a gentlemanly way to end the round, and it was all upfront.

Whybark shanks the shot, and then doesn't have the decency to just shut up about it. (how do we know that he really shanked it on purpose? there is no discussion about what Stewart did)

I wonder if years from now, when Whybark has kids, when he lets his 3 year old win at Candyland, is he going to make a point about how he let the kid win?

posted by dviking at 05:46 PM on May 06, 2010

Whybark found himself in a situation where he had nothing to gain and his opponent had everything to lose. I agree with the impulse to let his opponent win and reach nationals.

While Whybark may have thought he was doing something sportsman-like, in reality he just said "I'm better than you so I'm going to give you this so you don't feel bad."

How is shanking a shot an assertion of being better? None of his quotes suggest he thought he was better. He just didn't feel like competing in the playoff.

If he plays the hole normally, and concedes at the end when it's clear he will win, the same people would be against his move.

posted by rcade at 08:55 AM on May 07, 2010

According to this article, Jesus was also in the playoff and made sort of similar sacrifice.

On a minor technical point, I gather (but can't now find the link I gathered that from) it was a par four and Whybark was hitting a driver. Drivers don't have shanks, so it's not possible to shank them. If he wasn't hitting a driver, he's a gifted player indeed to be able to produce a shank on demand.

posted by JJ at 10:18 AM on May 07, 2010

JJ, are you trying to say that Jesus can't hit a driver? And is the rest of the osso buco recipe to follow? I'm confused.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:31 AM on May 07, 2010

I refer you to Trevino's solution to finding yourself caught on the golf course during an electrical storm: "Just hold your 1-iron over your head; not even God can hit a 1-iron."

posted by JJ at 12:16 PM on May 07, 2010

I refer you also to an old golfing joke: Jesus and God are out playing golf. God tees off and carves one off into the trees. The ball bounces around and back into the fairway where it is picked up by a crow. The crow carries the ball to the holeside and drops it in. Jesus sighs. "Dad, are you going to play golf or fuck around?"

And another of the same family: Jesus and God out playing the back nine at Augusta. They get to the 12th and Jesus says "I'm going to hit a 7. Nicklaus would hit 7." God shakes his head, "You need a 5, Jesus, or you'll dump it in the water." Jesus sulkily pulls his 7-iron and hits it anyway muttering "Nicklaus would hit 7." Sure enough, he leaves it short and finishes in the water, but, being Jesus, just walks out to get it. The group behind comes onto the tee. One of them points and says to God "Who does that guy think he is... Jesus Christ?" God sighs, "Nah. He thinks he's Jack Nicklaus."

Remember to tip your waitress.

posted by JJ at 12:54 PM on May 07, 2010

Remember to tip your waitress.

You gonna be here all week?

How's the veal ?

posted by tommybiden at 01:12 PM on May 07, 2010

I recommend it, and I'll be here until they throw me out (so the rest of the week might be optimistic).

posted by JJ at 01:34 PM on May 07, 2010

How's the veal ?

I wouldn't know, JJ won't give us the rest of the damn osso buco recipe. All I know is that it involves the shank.

posted by tahoemoj at 02:19 PM on May 07, 2010

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