23 Years Ago, Happy Gilmore Beat Shooter McGavin In The Tour Championship
It seems as if everything has a day these days. Either that or everything is an anniversary of something remarkable or interesting that happened. Well, today is no different. Today marks the 23rd anniversary of the most exciting day in fictional golf.
I'm referring - of course - to the day that Happy Gilmore came from way down the order to beat Shooter McGavin and take home the tour championship.
Yes, England during 'Botham's Ashes' in 1981, the Ryder Cup 'Miracle at Medinah' in 2012, the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI, Gilmore's return from four shots behind surely ranks right up there amongst the greatest sporting comebacks of all time, right?
OK, maybe not. Not least because it didn't happen. However, there are still some things that we can learn from Happy Gilmore's triumph, the first being not to gloat about winning before you've even won - right, Shooter?
In reality, the road to this remarkable turn of events didn't begin with the beginning of the Tour Championship - in which Happy had to triumph in order to win his grandmother back her house - it actually began with his career as a hockey player.
On This Date: In 1996, Happy Gilmore defeated Shooter McGavin to win the Tour Championship in honor of Chubbs Peterson. pic.twitter.com/CCMvsIPeNf
- ESPN (@espn) February 16, 2019
You see, Happy Gilmore loved hockey, but couldn't skate. In fact, he was totally crap at skating to the point where he couldn't stand up on the ice properly.
What he lacked in ice-legs, he made up for in having a shot that could kill an elephant at 200 yards. That was the skill that transferred into golf.
But being able to whack the ball 400 yards off the tee is only so much use. You've got to be able to putt too. That's where Chubbs Peterson comes in. His sound advice (things like 'don't putt angry' and 'just taaaap it in') stood Happy in good stead.
On the way to the Tour Championship, Peterson was sadly taken from Gilmore after a freak accident involving an alligator's head and a window - a tale as old as time, really - but despite that setback, he remained determined to succeed on golf's biggest stage.
After everything that had happened, and the distance that Happy had to make up, he still put the pressure on McGavin, his fiercest rival and arch nemesis.
Shooter eventually choked and blew a four shot lead on the back nine. Happy went on the charge and made a frankly impossible chip shot using his patented hockey-style putter to take home the top prize and win his grandmother's house back.
There's something we can all learn from that. Or not, it doesn't matter really, because it never happened, and the people in this story aren't actually real.
Oh well, Happy Anniversary Happy Gilmore!
Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures