Winning the 2016 Media Award for Profile Writing in this case was a little unconventional, since Mr. Sands died many years ago, having won the men's golf medal in the 1900 Olympics. What was remarkable about this story and made it so rewarding to work on is that his Olympic victory, which for years accounted for his small measure of fame, was probably not the most compelling accomplishment in his brief career in competitive golf; there was something exciting about digging up the narrative of his match against Winthrop Rutherford from newspaper and magazine accounts and old books, as though the force of his competitive determination imprinted itself on posterity, like a fossil relief, after everything else about him had mouldered away. I don't remember seeing any quotes from him, certainly none pertaining to golf, and only one photo of him golfing seems to have survived -- the remarkable image of him teeing it up at the Paris Olympics that Jeff Neuman used for the cover. His will to win alone wrote the story of an underdog achieving a remarkable win on a pressure-packed autumn Sunday before a gallery of New York society come to watch the bloodless feud.
My thanks go to Jeff, peerless editor of The Met Golfer, and to then-Executive Director of the Met Golf Association Jay Mottola who has done so much for the organization, and for the magazine, which won three other ING awards this year. I couldn't be more proud of my association with the MGA.