Jordan Spieth contending was a win for the Colonial, but something was off

·3 min read

With fans lined up to scream “You the man” seemingly on every shot, and enough beer and wine more appropriate for a college frat party, the 2021 Charles Schwab Challenge felt normal-ish, with the constant reminders of who wasn’t here.

On this Memorial Day weekend, we honor those who served, who gave, and on this one we remember those we lost in the last year.

This includes the late Susan Nix.

That stings to type.

It stings because she really is gone, and because the 2021 Charles Schwab Challenge unintentionally served as a marker to just what a horrible last 14 months it has been for so many.

No one in Fort Worth was a greater steward of this city, of the PGA Tour event at Colonial Country Club, and all things TCU any more than Susan Nix.

Colonial, Charles Schwab and Fort Worth “won” by having Jordan Spieth at the top of the leader board, and in the final pairing on Sunday, and no one would have loved these facts more than Mrs. Nix herself.

Susan died of COVID last fall. She was 72.

She owned and ran her own consulting group, served on umpteen boards and was your classic civic leader. She even gave Gary Patterson some advice when he was going through the interview process for the TCU football coaching job.

To honor her, Colonial Country Club produced a limited number of pins with the familiar red plaid background and “Susan Nix” in cursive white letters.

(Mine is placed above my Dan Jenkins pin in my computer bag.)

This week, Colonial inducted her into their de facto Hall of Fame, “The Pride of the Plaid.”

A Colonial PGA Tour event without Susan Nix was odd. It was quieter.

“I gotta tell you, it’s like last year when we didn’t have fans here,” said Jim Whitten, the Charles Schwab Challenge tournament chairman. “She has such a big personality. She was one of the most personable people I ever met. She was really a bird dog. You’d give her something to do, and she would not stop.”

As much as we all need to have the ability to interact without being socially distanced, we all need a Susan Nix in our lives.

The person for whom no matter how life is going, that moment is stop-traffic fantastic. She had the ability to make you feel like you were the best element on the periodic table.

Even if you never met Susan Nix, she would convince you in less than the time it takes to whisper to the person next to you, “Uh, who is that?” that she knew you. Because when you met Susan Nix, you were not only her friend, but her best friend.

She is survived by her husband, Kent, the former TCU and NFL quarterback. She had two children and four grandchildren.

When news spread that she had died, the overwhelming response was, “But I just saw her.” Or, “We talked last week.”

We all did.

The last time I saw Susan Nix was Oct. 24, 2020, when we were all knee deep in COVID concerns. She was the same — full of hugs, and more optimism than a Tony Robbins lecture.

We said we would get together soon for dinner. We actually meant it.

But she contracted COVID the following month, and her body simply could not hold up.

She died on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Thanksgiving Day.

How most of us learned about Susan’s death was via Facebook, Twitter or some social media app.

It feels wrong to learn about the death of someone like Susan on something so impersonally personal such as Facebook, but we are all living in Mark Zuckerberg’s world.

On Sunday, under the greatly appreciated cool and cloudy sky, it was nice watching Jordan Spieth at the top of the leader board at Colonial with fans on hand to applaud, and endlessly drink.

Other than the absurdly overpriced tickets, it all felt right.

Susan Nix would have loved it.

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