As the Great Depression hits, however, Adele’s family loses its
fortune in a golf resort her father invested all of their money into prior
to the market crash. In order to restore the family fortune, Adele
decides to host a golf expedition between the best two golfers of the
time: Walter Hagen (Bruce McGill) and Bobby Jones (Joel Gretsch).
With a purse of $10,000 on the line, both gladly accept. The one issue
with the event is they need to find a local, hometown hero to root for
in competition against the best in the world. Adele, never forgetting
about Junuh, invites him to compete. After initially declining, he finally
accepts to appease the people of Savannah.
While he has accepted the invitation to play, his golf game
remains in shambles. Junuh has not played golf since going off to war
nearly ten years prior, which makes picking up where he left off nearly
impossible. As he is hitting golf balls into the woods behind his house
one day, a man walks from out of the mist and introduces himself as
Bagger Vance. Not only does he show up in a mysterious fashion, he
also says that he will be Junuh’s caddie in the tournament the upcoming
week. Junuh hesitantly accepts, initially taking Bagger Vance’s advice
with a grain of salt. He works with Junuh to rid his demons of both the
war and the game of golf for him to find his “authentic swing” once
again.
In the beginning stages of the event, Hagen and Jones play just
as one would expect them to play while Junuh falters. Letting his nerves
and anger get the best of him, Junuh dismisses Bagger Vance’s attempts
to help, resulting in a very poor round of golf. As the tournament
progresses into round two, however, Junuh starts to find his “authentic
swing.” Slowly but surely, Junuh catches up to the likes of Bobby Jones
and Walter Hagen, even making a hole in one on a par three during the
third round of play. Then, once again, Junuh starts dismissing the help
that Bagger presents, leading him to hit a ball in the forest and have a
flashback of a traumatic memory from his time at war. Eventually
recognizing the wisdom of Bagger’s words, Junuh uses his advice to
focus on golf once again.
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