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The View from the East End (43)

By Inspector Hopkins

July 16, 2006
 

The Holmes and Watson Scoreboard

  by Inspector Hopkins

As many of you know, I am an amateur golfer and a big fan of the game.  One night a few weeks ago, I happened to be channel surfing and bumped across the Golf Channel. They were covering the “CVS Charity Classic” golf tournament, and broadcasting it from the prestigious Rhode Island Country Club in Barrington, RI.

This is an annual fund-raising event which has raised millions for charity over the past few years.  PGA Tour professionals of all ages and experience have played in past years at this event, including the legendary Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus.  This year’s match included many current PGA pros and featured Chris DiMarco and Fred Funk defending their title from the previous year.  It was a “tournament” format, meaning the golfers were teamed up in pairs instead of playing individually against the rest of the field. There was Peter Jacobsen teamed up with Hale Irwin, Brad Faxon and Mike Weir, Nick Price and Tim Clark, Billy Andrade and Jose Maria Olazabal, etc. These are all great players, and names that are well known in the world of golf.

But when I got a glimpse at the scoreboard, it was not any of those names that caught my eye.  No indeed.  The pairing in particular that grabbed my immediate and total attention was none other than “Holmes and Watson”.

Yes folks, believe it or not, there are actually two professional golfers by those names: J.B. Holmes and Bubba Watson. Out of a field of twenty golfers, they paired these two up together.  At first I thought it was a joke because it just seemed too unbelievable.  I had never seen either of these men in either the PGA or the Nationwide Tours before.

I did not watch the entire round and only happened to catch their names along with a brief interview conducted by Dottie Pepper. She asked Holmes and Watson about their games, etc. as they walked along, just as casually as she interviewed any other player in that event.  Incredible as it may seem to any Sherlockian, absolutely no one on the field, or at the Golf Channel, seemed to make the astonishingly obvious Canonical connection with this pairing of golfers.  I never even found out who won the match because I became so engrossed in this Sherlockian oddity that I forgot about everything else!

But wait . . .  it gets better!  I did some digging around the web afterwards, and found that these are both young men essentially just starting out in their careers. J.B. Holmes (whose first name is John, by the way) is 24 years old and turned pro in 2005, but has set a record for the shortest amount of time to reach the $1M earning level.   Bubba Watson is three years older and has earned less than half as much money as Holmes. But he has had a bit more experience and turned pro in 2003. He is setting records for driving off the tee this year.

Note the similarities in ages, age difference, experience, and financial status between these two golfers and our beloved Canonical “Holmes and Watson” when they were first starting out in their careers. Note further that they have known each other, have competed together before, and are friends.

I find these parallelisms uncanny . . .  and almost eerie

I also look forward to bigger and better things from these two players as the next few years unfold, and as they hone their abilities and skills. But you may think that the names are just a coincidence. You may also already know there has been another professional golfer named “Watson” out there for quite some time now (Tom Watson that is). If that’s what you’re thinking, well then, here’s another coincidence for you to ponder:

Last Sunday (on July 9th to be exact) Tom Watson was competing in the 2006 Senior US Open and was fighting relentlessly for first place. He was eventually beaten by the defending champion, Allen Doyle.  What would you think if you happened to be walking by your television at the end of that golf tournament and saw “A. Doyle” over “Watson” on that final scoreboard?  That’s two memorable Sherlockian moments back-to-back, and I found it quite inspirational!

Now . . . if you’ll excuse me, I have a tee time myself this afternoon, and really must be going.  Until next time, and thanking you for your attention, I am indeed,

Yours faithfully,
STANLEY HOPKINS