golf shouldn’t stir such drama in my soul, but it does

July 23, 2012 — In light of actual tragedies in the news spotlight at the moment — the Colorado shooting and the Penn State scandal — it’s unseemly to refer to Adam Scott’s debacle at The Open Championship with a similar description.

That didn’t stop me from referring to it as an absolute tragedy when a friend called me only moments after Adam Scott missed his par putt on the 18th hole at Lytham & St Annes, giving Ernie Els the major title. She didn’t say anything. I don’t know if she didn’t understand or didn’t care. A few minutes removed from the sports wreckage, I realized tragedy might have been dramatic and ill-timed.


At 11:30 Texas time on Sunday morning, Adam Scott had a four stroke lead with five holes left to play. By 12:25, he had fallen to his knees in disappointment on Lytham & St Annes eighteenth green. Scott made four straight bogeys to finish the final round. Ernie Els won by a shot.

I didn’t watch any of the post-tournament interviews. I didn’t call my dad to discus the day’s play as I almost always do. I didn’t even want to think about it.

No man should have to endure that kind of heartbreak. This is the place in this blog where I compare the events from Sunday to something that happens in real life. But I can’t. I can’t bring myself to write something so gruesome.

Instead, I’ll wonder aloud if this is an Australian thing. Greg Norman famously lost, well, lots of chances at majors. But the one that stands out the most is the 1996 Masters when Norman went from three strokes in front to two behind in the span of four holes. But it came in the middle of the final round. Nick Faldo, playing in the same group as Norman, claimed the green jacket.

I’ll defer to columnist Paula Duffy here.

“For sheer drama, Norman’s errant water shots playing with the man who beat him tops my list,” Duffy wrote earlier today. “Adam Scott’s drip, drip, drip of bogeys ending on the eighteenth was the most painful to watch.”

Exactly. Drip. Drip. Drip. Like Chinese water torture. Oops, that’s probably not appropriate either.


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