NO other sport does it better than golf. No other sport tells you better who you really are than the humbling game of golf.

If the real you is how you behave when nobody is watching, then golf is the game that best tells you who you really are. That is, if you have the honesty and the courage to accept the truth about yourself.

That’s because, in a round of golf, unlike in other sports, nobody watches your every move. You are out there alone with yourself, your clubs, your ball and your caddy.

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There’s no referee to watch over you as you count your strokes.

Your score is essentially between you and your caddy and your fellow golfers have to take your word for it. It’s not called a gentleman’s game for nothing.

When a golfer cheats, therefore, it is not just something uncool. More than uncool, it is gross. When you cheat in golf, you cease to be a gentleman and you lose, rightfully and deservedly, the trust of the other players. Above all, when you cheat in golf, you reveal your real self to be that of a cheat.

A truly honest and trustworthy person will be honest and truthful even when nobody is watching, as in a game of golf.

By being suspended for cheating in golf, Angelito Alvarez has shown himself to be an untrustworthy person. It is not like he is still being investigated. He has been investigated, judged to have cheated and has been suspended from the game.

That means what he did was no trifle. Besides, even if all he wanted was to throw his game for being hopelessly lost, the gentlemanly thing to do would have been to disqualify himself and not push on by trifling with the rules.

Having failed to do that, he is now left with one more honorable thing to do, which is to save the President from further embarrassment by not accepting his appointment.

Chief of Customs is not the place for someone whose trustworthiness is in serious doubt for a proven act of cheating in golf. It would be equally gross for the President to ignore an agitated golfing community and push through with Alvarez’s appointment. If he means to wipe out corruption, he cannot insist on a custom’s chief whose calling card has golf cheat written all over it.

Okay, it’s only a game of golf and maybe he has learned his lesson and will keep the right score when he starts playing golf again. In the meantime, however, it would still not be proper for the President to ignore his ungentlemanly behavior in golf and insist on his appointment with just the thread of a hope that he will not cheat in Customs as he, at least allegedly, did in golf.

Many Filipinos obey rules and regulations only when somebody is looking. We need officials who will model to people how to follow the law even when nobody is looking.