July, 20, 2009
Tom Watson's valiant bid to become
the oldest golfer to win a major title has left fellow competitors
and all athletes in awe and wondering if age is a barrier to
excellence any longer.
Mathew Goggin, 24 years younger than the 59-year-old Watson,
says he believes Watson "can contend on these golf courses forever
the way he strikes the ball."
Dara Torres, the 42-year-old Olympic swimmer who is preparing to
compete at the world championship, says "as athletes, we're not
putting an age limit on our dreams. I don't think it matters what
age you are."
Some non-golfers agree. Nolan Ryan threw his sixth no-hitter at
32. Martina Navratilova was a month shy of 50 when she won the
mixed doubles championship at the 2006 U.S. Open tennis tournament.
Just last weekend, 50-year-old Mark Martin won his fourth NASCAR
Sprint Cup race of the year, more than any other driver.
And on Sunday, 81-year-old Hershel McGriff became the oldest
driver to take part in a national NASCAR series race by qualifying
for an event in Portland, Ore.
Said McGriff: "I haven't had anyone tell me that I'm crazy."