“This could be the first trumpet, might as well be the last …” Bob Marley (Natural Mystic)
While it is certain that the late, great reggae legend did not pen the afore stated line with golf or Brian Morris in mind, the line may yet have great relevance and prophecy in regard to the Bermuda club professional’s appearance at this year’s Butterfield Bermuda Championship, at the lush Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton.
With full knowledge that the progressive, inoperable cancer ravaging his brain and other organs stand with the overriding goal of ensuring his ultimate demise Morris has few illusions as to his current state, where the spectre of looming death is a constant companion.
As such, the 54-year-old’s Professional Golf Association (PGA) debut trumpet call might well be his last in this dimension, although there will surely be many more whenever the traverse to the great beyond occurs.
Regardless of the fact that Morris finished anchored to the bottom of the leaderboard after two rounds and dramatically missed the cut line, as the hit recording further declared, those following the Ocean View teaching professional could yet not escape the presence of a ‘Natural mystic blowing through the air’, one unrelated to the howling wind gusts that at one point had sheets of rain propelling horizontally across green pastures on the event’s opening day.
How else could the scenario be explained, whereby the obviously most physically disadvantaged and afflicted participant in the tourney was followed by a 90-strong gallery aptly dubbed ‘Brian’s Army’ in full voice and revelry throughout, while those of the advantaged overseas touring pros attracted mere handfuls.
And which others among the field could lay claim to having had ‘The Golden Bear’ Jack Nicholas, he of a record six green jackets captured at hallowed Augusta National announce himself as a fan of theirs except this seeming nondescript club pro?
What was not there however was a fairytale ending, where Morris, armed with local knowledge, finessed his way into carding a pair of under par rounds to trigger an advance into the weekend’s money rounds, which was Morris’ goal heading in, however unrealistic.
“Don’t get it twisted, score is important and I didn’t play the way I wanted to play and of course I’m disappointed with my score,” explained Morris, his wife by his side as the dust of the momentous occasion commenced settling. “I struggled just a tiny bit physically but to see all my people out there waving and cheering, smiling, from all walks of life, those who have supported me ever since I’ve had this nonsense.
“I had no idea about it, I just showed up on Thursday and all these people were there with their shirts on. And for people to take the time to go do stuff like that, that means so much, it’s humbling bro, because you had them here, from Tucker’s Town to back-of-town and that’s what it’s all about.”
The referred to ‘nonsense’ though is the ever present, unrelenting adversary against which Morris continues to wage war while holding close to heart and mind yet another quotation from, Marley, who likewise stood tall despite then ravages of advanced brain cancer.
“Sometimes you don’t know just how strong you are until it’s your only option and I learned that from Marley. He said: “You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice,” and I’m just realizing that I’m pretty bad (good).
“Everybody’s been telling me, ‘Brian, you’re so strong,’ and brother I really am.”
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