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My Shot
Ben Wright
October 04, 1999
Writing my memoirs exorcised some demons but not in the way that I had expected
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October 04, 1999

My Shot

Writing my memoirs exorcised some demons but not in the way that I had expected

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Many people, given the chance to examine the lives they have led, might well buckle under the weight of introspection. I was given that chance when I began to write my memoirs. This was my chance to vent the frustrations of spending four years in golf purgatory. My book was a medium over which I had complete autonomy. I would finally control the end of the story. But then something amazing happened. The pen that I thought would write this tale, a pen that had been dripping acid from my bitterness, was unconsciously replaced by one filled with honest reflection and sincere gratitude. Good Bounces & Bad Lies (Sleeping Bear Press, $24.95) became a therapeutic exercise that exorcised the demons I had become far too comfortable embracing. It is too easy to blame others for misfortunes that plague a life. To quote Francis Bacon: "A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green, which would otherwise heal and do well."

I realize now that the prevailing image of Ben Wright was created by some members of the media and has been maintained by unexamined repetition. This fact is undeniable, but I can't blame the media for the way I am perceived. I must accept full responsibility. Obviously it's my fault this image has had a chance to exist, since the damning words that created it came from my mouth.

I made my return TV appearance on the Golf Channel during the Ryder Cup, which brought back dear memories. I related historical essays on the Cup, and my love for that event and the medium itself overtook me. I found myself in tears at the conclusion of taping. The last few months have reminded me that I do not have to define myself by the last four years of my life. Golf has taken good care of me over the years, and to the incomparable sport I owe my deepest esteem. Mine has, indeed, been a charmed life.

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