At its core, professional golf is a lonely game. Away from the jubilant cheers of the galleries, beyond the intrusive glow of the camera lens, there is just a player, his club and the ball. Even the most outgoing pros have spent countless hours at the driving range and practice green, perfecting their craft in estimable loneliness.
It becomes quite a paradox then, that when a golfer becomes so good, so proficient at beating those range balls into the empty sky or pouring putts into the cup from all places, we expect them to thrive in the spotlight. We chastise the colorless bores and celebrate the ebullient characters, forgetting that solitary routine is what raised them to this level in the first place.
Nick Watney is neither colorless nor a bore, but he’s hardly a character, either. He is introverted and introspective, the exact combination of...