The Frightening Three-Footer

Day 157 without playing golf

The three-foot putt when something is on the line — is there anything scarier in golf? I mean, really. It’s the great equalizer (and destroyer), whether you’re a weekend hacker or John Daly going against Tiger Woods in a playoff.

JD seized defeat from the jaws of victory when he hiccupped on a short one yesterday at the American Express Championship in San Francisco. I’m glad I didn’t witness it. It’s too painful to watch.

Other famous misses:

*Retief Goosen from two feet on the last hole in the 2001 U.S. Open. He went on to win the next day in a playoff against Mark Brooks.

*Doug Sanders muffed a short one on the 72nd hole of the 1970 British Open. A guy named Nicklaus stole the Claret Jug from Sanders in a playoff the next day.

*Scott Hoch missed a win-clinching putt from 18 inches in a playoff at the ’89 Masters. Nick Faldo prevailed.

*Sam Snead missed from inside three feet at the 1947 U.S. Open, giving the title to Lew Worsham. In an illustrious career, Snead never wins the U.S. Open.

In a few weeks, the three-footer would make a good Halloween costume. Nothing’s scarier.

The Armchair Golfer

Photo of author
Neil Sagebiel

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