A mini-history of rims and stifled grins
Every putt breaks right for somebody.
IF we had any decency, what we would feel most is sympathy, not happiness, at another’s misfortune. But many emotions are boiling under the quiet atmosphere at a putting green. Give PGA Tour player Matt Every credit for being forthright immediately after his Bay Hill victory last March, when he shared what he was thinking as Henrik Stenson attempted a birdie putt on 18 that would have tied him: You’re already in (the Masters). Miss it. I need to get in. What follows are the notable misses that made somebody – or in some cases, several golfers – happy.Whether they admit it or not.
Ben Hogan can earn his first major victory if he sinks a 12-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole. But he runs the ball 30 inches past. He misses the comeback, making Herman Keiser the happy winner.
Doug Sanders has a three-foot, sliding-right par putt to win. From the moment he first soles the putter, it takes him 25 seconds to putt. The miss to the right causes commentator Henry Longhurst to immortally intone, “And there but for the grace of God . . . ” Sanders loses to Jack Nicklaus in the playoff the next day by one shot.
This one took an extra day to deliver the punch line: Going le handed, Hale Irwin whiffs a twoinch tap-in at the 14th hole in the third round, making bogey, then finishes second by one shot the next day to Tom Watson.
Scott Hoch has a two-foot putt for par on No 10, the first in a sudden-death playoff, to beat Nick Faldo. But the putt slides past on the le . Faldo birdies No 11 to win.
1991 Ryder Cup
Bringing pleasure to the US team, there was no chance for decorum a er Bernhard Langer misses a six-foot par putt on 18 in his singles match with Hale Irwin. Their match is halved, and the US team wins the cup by a point.
2001 US Open
A trio of players are in a giveaway mood on the last hole: Mark Brooks three-putts (the second from six feet) for bogey. Stewart Cink misses from two feet to make a double bogey. Retief Goosen three-putts from 12 feet. The result is a tie between Goosen and Brooks, which Goosen breaks the next day in a playoff.
Eventual winner Zach Johnson misses a two-foot par putt at 16 in the second round. Because the 10-shot rule is in effect, the cut moves to eight over par. This pleases 15 players, particularly eventual runner-up Retief Goosen.
2009 BMW Championship
With a trip to the Tour Championship assured if he two putts for bogey on the final hole, Brandt Snedeker instead four putts, allowing John Senden to take the last spot in the 30-man FedEx Cup finale.
2012 Kra Nabisco
Just moments away from being able to jump into Poppy’s Pond in victory, I K Kim instead rims out a one-foot putt for par on 18. She falls into a tie with Sun Young Yoo, who wins in a playoff.
With the second round delayed to Saturday morning because of rain, Jesper Parnevik finishes by missing a five-footer for par. His extra shot moves the cut line from one over par to two over, allowing 21 more players to play two more rounds for a record-tying 91 weekend players. Mark Wilson and Trevor Immelman take the most advantage and end up tied for ninth.
ANGUISH & CELEBRATION:
BERNHARD LANGER’S MISS ON THE
FINAL HOLE OF THE 1991 RYDER
CUP AT KIAWAH ISLAND LED TO
THE US TEAM CELEBRATION BY
COREY PAVIN, MARK O’MEARA, DAVE
STOCKTON AND PAYNE STEWART.