A GRAND EVENT NO LONGER

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Above) -

ou’ve prob­a­bly never heard of Tim Hart, a 26-year-old Aus­tralian who lies out­side the top 500 on the World Rank­ing. He fell prey to one of the big­gest re­ver­sal-of-for­tune nishes in golf his­tory. With a three-stroke lead on the nal hole at the Queens­land PGA, Hart not only had his rst pro vic­tory within reach, but, stand­ing 12 un­der for his round at the par-70 City Golf Club in Toowoomba, a chance to shoot the only o cial 57 recorded on a sanc­tioned pro­fes­sional tour. Amaz­ingly, Hart lost the event and didn’t even break 60. He hit his drive on the par-4 18th out-of-bounds left, then re-teed and drove into the trees right. The re­sult­ing triple bo­gey meant a 61 that dropped him into a playo , which (of course) he lost when Ger­many’s David Klein birdied the rst hole. Still, how’s this for per­spec­tive? “Mate, it’s easy to be dis­ap­pointed,” Hart said, “but if some­one had said I’d be in a playo for the ti­tle when start­ing the day 20th, I would have grabbed it.” But maybe not if he’d known he would shoot golf ’s most-dis­ap­point­ing 61.

Yhe idea, in the­ory, al­ways had merit: pit the win­ners of the four men’s ma­jors in a year-end event that serves as part en­core, part en­ter­tain­ment.Yet for var­i­ous rea­sons the PGA Grand Slam of Golf never quite de­liv­ered on its prom­ise, re­gard­less of the venue, for­mat or mar­quee con­tes­tants (Tiger Woods won it seven times). Few tears, then, were shed when the PGA of Amer­ica an­nounced it was dis­con­tin­u­ing the 37-year-old event, Martin Kaymer ( left) be­com­ing the an­swer to the trivia ques­tion of who was its last cham­pion. “When the Grand Slam of Golf was launched in 1979, the golf world was much di er­ent than it is to­day,” read a state­ment from the PGA of Amer­ica. “The PGA Tour’s wrap-around sched­ule, the Euro­pean Tour’s Race to Dubai, plus other im­por­tant in­ter­na­tional events, make the sched­ule very busy and hec­tic for the top play­ers in the world.” More­over, by the time the hit-and-gig­gle tour­na­ment rolled around each year, golf was rarely top of mind for any but the most rav­en­ous fans.

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