“My career I can compare to a good bottle of wine. You take a glass and enjoy it; you take a second glass and really enjoy it; a third, then the bottle is getting empty.”
−Jean Van de Velde, as quoted by Reuters
I LIKE JEAN VAN DE VELDE. Always have, always will. Poor guy, I tend to think. He threw away the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie with that infamous triple-bogey 7 on the 72nd hole.
But is he “poor”? I think not.
The philosophical Frenchman has handled his catastrophic defeat with more grace and perspective than just about any human being could muster. And as Johnny Miller has correctly pointed out, Van de Velde got one of the worst bounces in major championship history on his second shot. He can live with it.
“Don't be sad,” Jean said at the time. “I made plenty of friends, because a Scottish man won. So, at least that's something.”
Now that “the bottle is getting empty,” the 42-year-old Van de Velde mentioned the other day that he will cut back his playing schedule to about a dozen tournaments a year. There are other things to do in life.
−The Armchair Golfer