Fairway to heaven
DEVINE intervention or are they just good golfers?
Or should that be God's golfers?
After American Webb Simpson came from six shots behind to win the US Open on Monday, the 26-year-old devout, born-again Christian, said it was prayer that had calmed his nerves and allowed him to win his first major.
"I had a peace all day," Simpson said. "I knew it was a tough golf course ... I probably prayed more on the last three holes than I've ever done in my life.
"I'd be stupid not to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, because it was tough out there and I was nervous, and I felt his presence all day."
But Simpson, who, on Twitter, describes himself as a "sinner loved by a Savior" is not the only Christian to have been blessed with victory in the US Open when it has been played at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.
All four previous champions at the venue have been deeply religious men.
Jack Fleck said he "heard the Lord's voice" telling him he would win in 1955, while Billy Casper attended Bible study the night before his playoff with Arnold Palmer in 1966.
Scott Simpson donated 10% of his winnings to his church and Lee Janzen is a devout Christian.
Is that coincidence, a trend or Devine intervention?
But it's not only when this year's champion, who often tweets Bible verses and Christian quotes, is on the fairways and greens that he finds peace.
He gets so much pleasure by always attending the PGA Tour's weekly Wednesday night Bible study group
Simpson is joined there by some of the regulars including Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Jonathan Byrd, along with reigning US Masters champion Bubba Watson.
Attendance ranges from 16 to 50 on any given week.
Like Simpson, Watson talks openly about his Christian faith.
He considers the fairway as a forum for Jesus to reach as many people as possible through him and believes that everyone answers to one true master.
"Knowing that God has a purpose for me. No matter what, he has a purpose, and for some reason he has chosen golf for me," Watson said. "There are so many great Bible verses that mean a lot to me and they all have behind them the message "Jesus loves me."
Australian Aaron Baddeley is also a committed Christian and has confessed that it was his faith that prevented him giving up professional golf on numerous occasions.