A hint of what to expect in a Tigerless golf world may be found in MOMENT OF GLORY: The Year Underdogs Ruled Golf by John Feinstein, who has become the modern equivalent of Bernard Darwin or Herbert Warren Wind, a chronicler of the world of golf.
Feinstein began his golf writing with A GOOD WALK SPOILED, a narrative of life on the professional golf tour. MOMENT OF GLORY is the story of golf’s major championships during the 2003 season, when Tiger Woods, having won six of the previous 12, inexplicably failed to win one major. Instead, the winners were Mike Weir, Jim Furyk, Ben Curtis and Shaun Micheel, none of whom has won a major since then and indeed none of whom --- with the possible exception of Furyk --- has been a major player on the PGA tour.
MOMENT OF GLORY is Feinstein’s 20th nonfiction book. Each follows a similar literary strategy of using many small pictures to present a larger portrait of a sports era and its participants. Feinstein has covered major golf championships as both a reporter and author. In each of the championships --- the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship --- although the result is known, there is a certain drama and suspense that Feinstein is able to maintain. Perhaps more enjoyable are the portrayals of the actors in the world of professional golf who made the major championships of 2003 unique and exciting tournaments.
Feinstein captures not only the unique individuality of golf, but also the unfolding drama of tournament golf. In addition, he follows up on the post-championship lives of the four winners. There have been ups and downs for each of them, and Feinstein covers accomplishments and difficulties with equal attention. MOMENT OF GLORY reminds golf fans that the drama and grandeur of golf can exist without the domination of Tiger Woods. Certainly, when Feinstein began this book, he could not have been aware that Tiger’s travails would make this enjoyable account of the 2003 season prescient on what his absence means to professional golf.
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman on May 13, 2010