It's strange what sudden defeat can do to some athletes. When something so terrible happens that you weren't expecting, like when David Toms missed a short par putt on the first playoff hole a week ago at TPC Sawgrass to lose to K.J. Choi, guys can go one of two ways. A lot of golfers would go the way of Phil Mickelson after Winged Foot in 2006, and take months to get back to winning form. Others use it as motivation, and pull positives from a very good week.
For Toms, that redemption came quickly. To be honest, I didn't really see that. Sure, I picked him to win in our weekly showdown, but I just did it because he was one of the few names left that had played well at the Players. After that missed putt, when NBC interviewed the Shreveport native, it looked like someone had just told him some grave news about his family. He looked shocked, and like a guy that saw a golden opportunity to pad his already impressive resume go down the drain by a golf club that usually saves him in tough situations.
But Toms showed up at Colonial with a mindset that makes him such a great champion. He never looked rattled on Thursday when he shot a beautiful 62, and looked even more comfortable on Friday when he matched that same score and blew the tournament wide open. Then came another disappointing moment on Saturday, when the 44-year-old let everyone back in the tournament with a round 12 shots worse than either of his first two, and it seemed he might let this one slip away as well. But he didn't. Not even close.
Toms showed the sort of resilience that makes certain professional athletes extra special. A lot of guys face adversity and completely fall apart. They can't find their footing and give up hope. But not Toms. He played hard, got a little lucky when his wedge on No. 11 found the bottom of the cup, and rode that to a one-shot victory.
It's exactly what needed to happen for Toms, who one of the announcers mentioned just seems like a worthy Colonial champion. He walked into the fire and didn't sweat for a second. There aren't a ton of players that would have been able to win the week after that tough playoff loss, but Toms did that, and did it with class.