By: Pro From Dover
It has probably happened in the past but your scribe can’t find it with a quick check PGA Tour records. So many leads lost by so many talented players. Eleven times this season, almost a third of tournaments played, the 54 hole leader has failed to win.
The final hole at the Bridgestone in Akron, OH added to this year’s carnage. Jim Furyk lead the tournament for 71 holes. He was one shot up on a red hot Keegan Bradley on the par four 18th hole. What happened?
Furyk hooked his tee shot but through what seemed to be divine intervention the ball hit a tree and rebounded back toward the fairway. A mid iron in hand, he proceeded to push his approach just to the right of a green side bunker. With one foot in the sand and the other in the rough, he flubbed his pitch but he got another break when it cleared the sand and came to rest in rough beside the green.
Meanwhile, Bradley from the middle of the fairway pushed a short iron into a fried egg lie in the same bunker. He splashed it out and left a 15 foot putt for par.
So, they’re both lying three.
Furyk almost double hit another muffed chip and had about six feet for bogie.
Bradley sank his putt so now Furyk, about as experienced as one can be, needed his for bogie and a play-off. It was an embarrassing effort. He missed the putt two inches right of the hole and knocked it four feet beyond.
And there goes another tournament! Wow.
On the bright side, as we noted in our last post, for us hackers this is a form of redemption. Those guys that “can really play,” can’t all the time. Last week we gave up a one hole lead with three to play because we couldn’t make a par down the stretch, like Adam Scott at The Open. Somehow, we don’t feel so bad.
Outspoken, grizzled, veteran player, Lanny Watkins, weighed in and said today’s players just aren’t mentally tough like the guys of yesteryear (read: 60’s, 70’s) who knew how to close it out when they had a lead. The money was shorter, the competition and conditions tougher and they had to earn it the hard way. The inference is that there is so much money to win that simply making cuts and occasionally posting a top ten will make for a very nice living.
Can’t say we disagree with Lanny. Something surely is amiss when so many are blowing so much so often.