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mvmac

Which Open Championship Collapse was Worse: Adam Scott or Jean Van de Velde?

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  1. 1. Which Collapse was Worse: Adam Scott or Jean Van de Velde?

    • Scott
      7
    • Van de Velde
      28


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Originally Posted by mvmac

To bogey the last four holes of the British Open, when one par would assure a playoff, is mind-boggling.

Not for me...16 was a bad bogey, but the other 3 holes were playing very tough.  Scott hit good drives on 15 and 17 and still had pretty long approach shots into the wind with both holes averaging over 4.5 shots.  His drive on 18 really wasn`t that far off line (although maybe he should have hit something to stay short of the bunkers- easy to second guess and as good as he had been driving the longer club probably gave him a better chance to make a birdie to win outright).  Scott didn`t play those holes great, but several others played them as bad or worse than him (but out of the spotlight).

Royal Lytham St. Anne - Round 4
HOLE PAR YARDS AVG. SCORE EAGLES BIRDIES PARS BOGEYS DOUBLES OTHERS +/- AVG.
15 4 462 4.61 0 4 34 36 8 1 0.61
6 4 492 4.53 0 0 43 37 2 1 0.53
17 4 453 4.51 0 4 46 21 11 1 0.51

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I think Mike makes a really good argument for Scott, but I'm sticking with VdV because of the epic nature of that final hole. Although Scott's Mr.Orange type demise was painful, the VdV collapse was more like missing an empty net goal from a few feet away. Scott only survived 68 holes whereas VdV survived 71. I find the latter harder to take if it was me.

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It's Van deFold by a mile.  How often does a tour pro make a triple bogey?  Hardly ever.  But they do go 4 over for four holes occasionally.

Think about that moment in time where Scott had just holed a birdie putt on the 14th and Ernie was far right of the green (16 I think) with his tee ball over near where Seve made that shot from the parking lot.  Even with that 4 shot lead, the commentators were saying, "it's not over, there are still 4 tough holes to play."

But with Van deFold, the engraver had already started with the lettering on the jug!  You can see where he had actually made the first letter and then stopped.  A triple bogey is far less likely than four for four - especially at Lytham with that wind.

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The one question that screams out to be asked but that I haven't heard anyone ask him or his caddy is why did he hit a 3-wood off the tee on 18?  Totally unnecessary on a 413 yard hole and gratuitously brings the bunker into play.  Just crazy.  Phil at Winged Foot level crazy.  How could that happen with the greatest caddy in the history of golf on his bag?  Lay a 3-iron out into the fairway and you're still looking at a wedge or short iron to the green.  Just crazy.

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Originally Posted by turtleback

The one question that screams out to be asked but that I haven't heard anyone ask him or his caddy is why did he hit a 3-wood off the tee on 18?  Totally unnecessary on a 413 yard hole and gratuitously brings the bunker into play.  Just crazy.  Phil at Winged Foot level crazy.  How could that happen with the greatest caddy in the history of golf on his bag?  Lay a 3-iron out into the fairway and you're still looking at a wedge or short iron to the green.  Just crazy.

It's easy to say now, but I must admit, at the time I kept saying "WHY IS HE HITTING 3 WOOD". Pretty much every player hits a hybrid or iron short into the green. I think he was trying to be the hero, and after dropping all those shots he should of just played for a play-off and tried to beat Ernie then.

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The difference between Scott and Mickelson in both scenarios is that Scott has been driving the ball well with his woods the whole tournament. Phil knew that he struggled with his driver at Winged Foot and still used driver regardless. Scott might have just mishit his 3 wood for the first time but Phil was hitting a club he was struggling with all week.

Originally Posted by turtleback

The one question that screams out to be asked but that I haven't heard anyone ask him or his caddy is why did he hit a 3-wood off the tee on 18?  Totally unnecessary on a 413 yard hole and gratuitously brings the bunker into play.  Just crazy.  Phil at Winged Foot level crazy.  How could that happen with the greatest caddy in the history of golf on his bag?  Lay a 3-iron out into the fairway and you're still looking at a wedge or short iron to the green.  Just crazy.

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Originally Posted by RPMPIRE

The difference between Scott and Mickelson in both scenarios is that Scott has been driving the ball well with his woods the whole tournament. Phil knew that he struggled with his driver at Winged Foot and still used driver regardless. Scott might have just mishit his 3 wood for the first time but Phil was hitting a club he was struggling with all week.

That's the thing though ... he didn't mishit that 3 wood, he hit it perfectly.  It was just too much club because the fairway does an "S" turn to the right at those bunkers.  His reasoning was that he though the wind was going to push it right of the bunkers and it didn't.  I was watching TGC the night after and they showed a graphic of his tee shots all 4 days.  He hit iron all three previous days, and all 3 days he was short of that bunker.  Thursday he pulled it into the left rough, but Friday and Saturday's iron shots were in the middle of the fairway, basically on the same line as that 3 wood.

Regardless of whether or not he hoped the wind would push it, it was too much club.  Unless he thought that if he went with the iron and the wind pushed it right that it wouldn't carry the last bunker on the right.  (There were 3 or 4 bunkers long and left of the landing area, and 3 or 4 bunkers short and right of the landing area)

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I would think that he knew that Scott knew he was tied for the lead when he was on the 18th tee. I think he pushed the panic button too soon and wanted to get birdie and really wasn't thinking playoff. I agree it was too much club deviating from his game plan the first 3 days, but I think he was still looking back at his driving accuracy for the tournament and thought he could hit 3 wood perfectly in the middle of the fairway.

Originally Posted by Golfingdad

That's the thing though ... he didn't mishit that 3 wood, he hit it perfectly.  It was just too much club because the fairway does an "S" turn to the right at those bunkers.  His reasoning was that he though the wind was going to push it right of the bunkers and it didn't.  I was watching TGC the night after and they showed a graphic of his tee shots all 4 days.  He hit iron all three previous days, and all 3 days he was short of that bunker.  Thursday he pulled it into the left rough, but Friday and Saturday's iron shots were in the middle of the fairway, basically on the same line as that 3 wood.

Regardless of whether or not he hoped the wind would push it, it was too much club.  Unless he thought that if he went with the iron and the wind pushed it right that it wouldn't carry the last bunker on the right.  (There were 3 or 4 bunkers long and left of the landing area, and 3 or 4 bunkers short and right of the landing area)

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Originally Posted by RPMPIRE

I would think that he knew that Scott knew he was tied for the lead when he was on the 18th tee. I think he pushed the panic button too soon and wanted to get birdie and really wasn't thinking playoff. I agree it was too much club deviating from his game plan the first 3 days, but I think he was still looking back at his driving accuracy for the tournament and thought he could hit 3 wood perfectly in the middle of the fairway.

I would totally buy that.  And, again, I think he did hit it perfectly, the wind just didn't push it like he had hoped.

And regarding the bold parts ... isn't that why you have a good and experienced caddy?  To talk you out of something like that?

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Maybe somebody should've told Williams that it's not Tiger Woods he's caddying for anymore - someone who has 14 majors and 73 wins and has closed out many tournaments. It's Adam Scott - the person who's never won a major and has as many PGA tour wins that I can count with my two hands.

Originally Posted by Golfingdad

I would totally buy that.  And, again, I think he did hit it perfectly, the wind just didn't push it like he had hoped.

And regarding the bold parts ... isn't that why you have a good and experienced caddy?  To talk you out of something like that?

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Stevie choked letting him hit 3-wood...no way he should have hit anything that could have reached the bunkers on the left.  So much for Stevie being a great front-runner -- maybe it actually was the horse all along.

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Originally Posted by BallStriker

Stevie choked letting him hit 3-wood...no way he should have hit anything that could have reached the bunkers on the left.  So much for Stevie being a great front-runner -- maybe it actually was the horse all along.


I don't see how this is the caddies fault at all. The final decision is the player's and he employs the caddy. Sure the caddy can try to talk him off the shot but the final decision was up to Scott.

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Originally Posted by MSchott

I don't see how this is the caddies fault at all. The final decision is the player's and he employs the caddy. Sure the caddy can try to talk him off the shot but the final decision was up to Scott.

Well, it's not his fault per se, but part of the caddy's job is to be convincing enough to make sure the player makes the right decision, so he's responsible at some level.

However I don't think there's much value in debating that. Knowing how the shots turned out, it's easy to say he should've done this or that, but it's a lot harder to make the right call before you make the stroke. There's too much random in this game to conclude anything from a single shot selection, you need to identify a consistent pattern of mistakes, and even that is hard to do with any certainty. There's too much opportunity for "rare" events.

After all, if the odds "worked," Els wouldn't be holding the Claret Jug!

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Originally Posted by David in FL

VDV......not even close.

+1. Nothing else like it. Mental error followed by physical error. Kept repeating that cycle over and over.

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Van de Velde got the worst break in modern sports history on his second shot. Otherwise he can chump it around and still win.

Only because Mike Tirico and Curtis Strange described the series of shots so ineptly on ABC, and never remotely began to hint at the odds against that second shot ricocheting off the grandstand rail and bounding back in front of the bern into heavy rough, is Van de Velde's collapse remembered as idiocy instead of incomparable bad luck.

You can sense Tirico realizes his error. Nowadays whenever the Van de Velde situation comes up, including on the air last week, Tirico quickly emphasizes how unlucky Van de Velde was. No doubt Tirico was stung by proper criticism from other sources. Johnny Miller never comments on other golf announcers but he wrote a column in late 1999 describing Van de Velde's bizarre misfortune and that it was inadequately reported by ABC.

I appreciate that Van de Velde is aware of Miller's summary. When asked about '99 recently, Van de Velde quoted Miller.

Van de Velde's first shot was fortunate to miss the lateral bern but that doesn't threaten to counter the odds against the second shot ending up where it did. One is relative normalcy while the second one you almost can't begin to assign the likelihood.

Everyone I knew in Las Vegas betting (and probability) circles immediately focused on the second shot, while the public at large happily ignored the bad luck and painted Van de Velde as a screwup. I note that nothing has changed.

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Van de Velde got the worst break in modern sports history on his second shot.

That's pretty bold. At least he hit the shot himself. How about that pitcher a couple years ago, who lost his perfect game because the ump blew a call?

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