Babineau: What I am thankful for on this Thanksgiving

Golfweek editor Jeff Babineau is thankful for many things this Thanksgiving, including, from left, Rickie Fowler, Lydia Ko and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

Golfweek editor Jeff Babineau is thankful for many things this Thanksgiving, including, from left, Rickie Fowler, Lydia Ko and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

photo

Justin Rose during his U.S. Open win in 2013 at Merion Golf Club.

On this Thanksgiving day, I am thankful . . .

• For mild Florida winters

• That the U.S. Open revisited Merion last summer

• The Pilgrims and Indians from my home state didn’t decide to feast on pigeon back in the day

• For quote machines such as Paul Goydos and Graeme McDowell

• That some courses still have greens that don’t roll 13 on the Stimp

• That Rickie Fowler isn’t another white shirt and khakis, cookie-cutter pro

• For the breakfast ball (I know, I know – sorry, Alistair Tait)

photo

Jordan Spieth reacts after winning the John Deere Classic, earning himself a spot in the Open Championship this week.

• For a seemingly endless pool of young talent making its way onto the PGA Tour (Welcome, Jordan Spieth!)

• For the continued advancements of light carry bags and comfortable golf shoes

• That I have three sons who love to tee it up, and a wife who understands

• That Rory McIlroy seems to be slowly returning to form

• For the lovely, high-pitch notes that flow from the bagpipes at sunset at Sea Island Lodge

• That Adam Scott, Justin Rose and Jason Dufner broke through at majors this season, and that Phil Mickelson found magic at the Open Championship

• That Lydia Ko doesn’t seem to take golf too seriously, and isn’t afraid to smile

• For the view past the lighthouse on the fourth hole of Ireland’s Old Head

photo

Phil Mickelson poses for pictures with the Claret Jug after winning the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield.

• That one never hears “Mashed Potatoes” screamed at the Masters

• For the invention of the remote control

• That under Mike Whan, the LPGA is on a good path

• That 2014 is a Ryder Cup year

• For Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Louise Suggs

• For late-night Golfweek staff banter and debates on the road

• That Auburn’s Kim Evans got to hear these magic words: You’re cancer free

• For the fire of Suzann Pettersen, and the resilience of Henrik Stenson

• For the great sacrifices made by servicemen and women and their families, the 1 percent who make sure the other 99 percent of us live free

• That my dad plunked down $50 to buy me a junior golf membership some 40 years ago

photo

Henrik Stenson after winning the 2013 FedEx Cup with his victory in the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta.

• That my football team has Tom Brady at quarterback

• That Aussie Jason Day, on the heels of family tragedy, won the World Cup

• For the genuineness of Arnold Palmer, the class of Jack Nicklaus and the energy of Gary Player

• To have been lucky enough to stand on the first tees at Kapalua, Riviera, The Patriot and Ballybunion this year, and to have finally walked Lahinch

• For good friends, cold beer and warm Irish coffee

• That the first shot at picturesque Augusta National is only 132 days, two hours and 12 seconds away. But hey, who’s counting?

On this day, please take time to count your blessings. Happy Thanksgiving!

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