Scott bogeys the LAST FOUR HOLES to lose by one. Credit Ernie Els with making a massive birdie putt on the 18th for what ended up being the winning shot, but man, Els got an absolute gift with this one.
Hopefully Scott is able to put this crushing defeat past him and rebound to eventually win a major (or a few majors) someday.
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
Yeah, I was thinking it was like Van de Velde, only it stretched out over an hour instead of being a 15-minute brain freeze. All morning, I was saying 'on the green, no-stress tap-in par, that's all you need' as Scott held his 4 shot lead.
Of course it was the missed three-footer on 16 that was his downfall. A two shot lead would have made that approach to 17 that much easier - he might have even been able to bail out to just go for the front of the green, and try to chip and putt for par off the short grass.
But give Scott credit for that magnificent approach to 18 with the chips down. Why did he let the putt just barely trickle off to the side? Els rammed that last birdie home, because he knew it was a must make. Congrats to Ernie, in addition to the Claret Jug and the rarefied air of being a 4-time major champion.. he's qualified for The Masters.
Also, too: Tiger really shouldn't be able to break the all-time majors record without coming from behind in the final round at least once. One under today would have got him into a playoff.
Prior to Ernie teeing off the ESPN interviewer asked Ernie about his comment from the night before that he felt like something could happen for him today. I scoffed at the time but quit working in the yard as I realized his comment was coming true. Painful to watch but fascinating at the same time.
and I love that Tiger stat of never having come from behind to win a major. I don't think he will either because he just isn't the same golfer anymore.
After the missed short putt at 16, I really expected Stevie Williams to help set Adam straight. Stevie has undoubtedly helped Tiger's mental game over the years, so I hoped he could do the same with Adam in a pressure-based scenario.
Really tough to watch the finish. I wanted drama, but I would have preferred someone taking a run going low rather than Adam Scott coming back to the pack.
I like Ernie, I like Adam. Very conflicted feelings for me as it played out.
I still think that it was bogus for Earnhardt to get penalized the 25 points for his slip of the tongue on National TV - if he finishes within 25 of the lead I suspect that there will be a whole lot more cussing coming his general direction.....