HAVERHILL — My job usually goes something like this: I go to a sporting event. I find the winner, or maybe even talk to the loser. But in the end ... get an interesting story.
Well, I skipped the first part yesterday at the Massachusetts Senior Amateur Golf Touranment at Haverhill Country, you know, the part about finding the best player or runner-up or so on.
Instead, I went right to the interesting story. I went to find Jim Grant.
Mind you, Grant is no slouch on the golf course. To the contrary, for three decades he has been on many leaderboards of many tournaments, mostly north of Boston. One year, he finished second in the “Masters of the Merrimack Valley,” the Allan B. Rogers Memorial Golf Tournament, with about a dozen top 10 finishes.
In fact this year, at age 55, has been one of his best. He not only won the Crystal Lake Club Championship for the fifth time this summer, but he qualified for two “state” events, the Senior Am and Mass Publinx and made the cuts in both tournaments, including the two-day event at Haverhill C.C.
Grant is the quintessential athlete/gentleman. He not only loves the game, which he picked up while growing up in Haverhill, across the street from Crystal Lake (former Crystal Springs). But when it’s over, his hat is the first to come off as he always thanks the guys in his group for the competition and, more importantly, for their company.
“I love being around nice people and getting to know them,” said Grant, who shot rounds of 75 and 80, to finish in 45th place at yesterday’s Senior Am. “I’d rather play with someone who is a nice person, who has fun, than someone who is a great golfer but keeps to themselves. That’s not what this game was meant for.