“I felt physically sick and it is without doubt the most bizarre thing I’ve ever done.”
PAUL LAWRIE IS A EUROPEAN TOUR professional and the 1999 British Open champion, the beneficiary of the collapse of Jean Van de Velde who Lawrie beat, along with Justin Leonard, in a four-hole playoff. Last week at the Wales Open Lawrie had a misadventure on the second green that he won’t soon forget. Playing the back nine first, the Scottish pro had just put the finishing touches on a 30 and was two shots off the lead. I’ll let Paul tell you what happened next.
“I went to the turn today in 30 (-5),” he wrote at his blog. “I played awesome and could have birdied every hole. At the par-5 second hole (my tenth) I made an 11. I was on the green in three and then eight putted.”
Timeout here. I can’t remember a tour pro taking eight putts. Paul Goydos recently took five putts on the par-4 seventh hole at The Players Championship. I saw it on tape and remember feeling slightly embarrassed for Goydos. Watching it, I could see how it happened. It was one of those devious hole locations. Still, it was nothing compared to Lawrie. Eight putts!
Here’s how Lawrie described it:
“The pin was right next to a large slope and I misjudged my first putt then spent the next five minutes going up and down the slope. I felt physically sick and it is without doubt the most bizarre thing I’ve ever done. Yet again this week I’ve played really good in spells and got nothing.”
It’s definitely a mind bender. Shoot a 30, threaten the lead and then eight-putt for an 11 and miss the stupid cut. I’ve never heard that one before. Instead, it reminds me of too many sad tales at the 19th hole. “I was playing out of my mind, a career round. Right, Fred (elbowing Fred)? Tell him! Then I eight-putted ….”
I just realized something. Both players who have recently suffered a sudden putting disaster (or SPD, as I’ll call it, because everything has an acronym these days) are named “Paul.” Uh-oh. Could it be some sort of bizarre epidemic striking the “Pauls” of the pro golf world?
Maybe someone should warn Paul Casey, Paul Stankowski and Paul Azinger before they’re afflicted with an SPD.
−The Armchair Golfer