Safeway Open Recap: Champ Wins for 'Pops'
Safeway Open Recap: Champ Wins for 'Pops'

This article is part of our Weekly Recap series.

Sometimes in sports there are other powers, other forces, at work besides sheer talent. That's why it's so hard to predict who will win. That's why sometimes analytics and other metrics don't and can't tell the whole story. Sports are played by human beings who have feelings and emotions, which are impossible to calculate. We can't imagine what Cameron Champ's feelings and emotions were, what was going through his mind last week at the Safeway Open.

With his grandfather, his beloved "Pops," moved to hospice care with stage 4 stomach cancer, Champ wasn't planning to play in the tournament. But he did, and he turned in the best performance of his young PGA Tour career, winning by one stroke with a birdie on the 72nd hole at Silverado on Sunday.

Champ, 24, hugged his caddie and his mom, then lay his head on the shoulder of his father, who was holding a phone. Grandpa Mack, the man who taught Cameron to golf, was on the other end.

"I'll say this now," Cameron told reporters in Napa, Calif., "I really feel like this will be, no matter what, even if I never win another tournament again or I win however many, this will definitely be the greatest moment of my golfing career."

Champ arrived on the PGA Tour full-time last year, bringing with him the longest driver in the game. He showed what he could do almost immediately, winning his second tournament of the season, the Sanderson Farms. He soon

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Len Hochberg
Hochberg covers golf for RotoWire. A veteran sports journalist, he contributes to Sports on Earth and was an editor and reporter at The Washington Post for many years.
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