Oh dear. Why did he do it? This is still painful to even write about but here goes. Tissues at the ready. Jean van de Velde, the rookie Frenchman, only needed to double bogey the 18th to win. That’s right. Double bogey. No heroics. No grand standing. Simple golf from tee to green. Thanks for the claret jug. I’m off for a soiree.
Unfortunately that is not what happened. Standing in the middle of the fairway after a so-so drive, he had two options, or perhaps one, in retrospect. He could lay up short of the Barry burn, pitch onto the green, and enjoy being the title holder (called the good option)... or as Van de Velde went for, (also known as the bad option)… take a 2 iron, drive it into the stands, pitch it into the water, climb into the water, climb out of the water, pitch into a bunker, pitch out of the bunker and hole a good putt to take part in a playoff… which he lost to Scot, Paul Lawrie.
In Van de Velde’s own words, “Maybe I should have laid up. The ball was lying so well. Next time, I’ll hit a wedge and you’ll all forgive me?" No…not yet…it still hurts.