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What happened to Nick Watney on Thursday afternoon at the Players Championship might be the one of the greatest examples of schadenfreude in golf history.
Admittedly, I partake in occasional schadenfreude when it comes to watching professional golf. I know I’m not the only one. The phrase “they’re just like us!” frequently gets thrown around when pro golfers make amateur mistakes.
Watney’s problems started the way a lot of TPC Sawgrass fails start: by hitting his tee shot into the water on the famous par-3 17th hole.
He’s not the first and nor will be the last to accomplish that notorious feat. What happened next though made it worse. Much, much worse.
He dropped a ball in the drop zone and cleanly reached the green with his third shot, following the penalty stroke. He missed his thirty-foot bogey putt, but had less than four-feet to save double.
But he missed again and the ball settled about nine inches from the cup. Watney, clearly frustrated, tried to tap the ball into the cup using only one hand. It… didn’t go well.
Yikes. That’s bad enough to ruin anyone’s day. As someone who has definitely done that, though, I applaud Watney for making me feel better about myself.
The quadruple bogey dropped him to +6 on the round. He actually started the round literally as poorly as possible — he hit his first shot of the tournament out-of-bounds and made triple-bogey on the par-4 10th hole (after starting on the back-nine).
But he wasn’t done.
Nick Watney did not have a fun front nine at the Players Championship
Watney, trying to shake off the massive mistake on 17, stepped up to the 18th tee box.
You could argue that with Watney well out of contention and already put on blast by the broadcast, NBC did not HAVE to show his tee shot.
But they did.
Ouch. Back-to-back water balls off-the-tee, plus the first shot of the tournament out-of-bounds?
Watney showed some stellar determination, though, and managed to make bogey following the wet tee shot.
There is a 100% chance that I’m slinging my driver into the water, tossing up the “deuces” to my buddies and heading straight for the clubhouse bar. My day is DONE.
But Watney is a warrior. He makes the turn at +7 and YOU NEVER KNOW. This could be the greatest comeback in the history of golf.
Either way, good for him for even continuing to play golf.
UPDATE: This post was originally written with Watney still on the course. Following the suspension of Thursday’s play (due to darkness), Watney actually got back to 4-over through 15 holes played.
Incredibly, he eagled the par-5 second hole with an excellent hole-out from off-the-green.
Later, he made birdie at the par-4 fourth hole.
So, making the cut is not out of the question. That would truly be a remarkable turnaround. Though, he’s going to be kicking himself for that tap-in miss if he falls short of the cut by one shot.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ
One CommentLeave a Reply
Thursday afternoon, not Friday…unless you have some Nostradamus thing going on.