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I feel worse for Van de Velde every time I see the replay


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#1 King_Slender

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 07:47 AM

I was watching the recap of the '99 Open at Carnoustie on Golf Channel last night and saw something I hadn't seen before on Van de Velde's debacle on 18.  We all know that he hit his drive right and then made the decision to hit 2 iron instead of wedge-wedge.  I knew his ball hit the bleachers and then came back into the rough, but saw a new picture I hadn't seen before.

They showed the mark where his ball hit the bleachers and it literally hit a piece of metal that was about 4"x4" that jutted out perpendicular to the bleachers (think of it like a basketball backboard) and that is why the ball came straight back, THEN hit about a 6" wide piece of the wall on the byrne, jumping over maybe 10 yards of manageable rough into the hay.  

I had never seen the ball mark on the bleachers but, the idiocy of not hitting wedge-wedge 3-putt to win aside, it had to be the all-time worst break in golf.  If his ball had even just landed in the byrne, he probably wedges 4 on and 2 putts to victory and if he hits anywhere other than that 4x4" piece of metal, his ball probably doesn't even bounce backwards.


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#2 CactusGolf

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 08:10 AM

I forgot to watch that last night.  Hopefully will be on replay.


What was the relationship between player and caddy like?  I would have hoped that the caddy would have influenced the decision more.
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#3 23under

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 08:21 AM

I would quit golf for good if that happened to me. Never touch a club again. Must be mentally punishing every single day since.

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#4 eagle1997

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 08:23 AM

you guys ever see the commercial where he replays that hole with only a putter?  and makes a 6?
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#5 jonsnow

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 08:25 AM

Jean is the real life Roy McAvoy. How many people remember who won the 99 Open?

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#6 third-times-a-charm

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 08:36 AM

It's like every time I hit towards a cart path....my ball hits that damn 3ft wide piece of concrete out OF THE ENTIRE 80 YARD WIDE AREA ITS LANDING IN EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
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#7 King_Slender

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 08:38 AM

View PostCactusGolf, on 10 July 2018 - 08:10 AM, said:

I forgot to watch that last night.  Hopefully will be on replay.


What was the relationship between player and caddy like?  I would have hoped that the caddy would have influenced the decision more.

The caddie was on the special.  Their thought process was that 2-iron got him over the byrne and even if he hit it in the bleachers, he would get a free drop.  Jamie Diaz even commented that he thought it was the right play as soon as he saw how good a lie he had on his drive.

I think the BIG mistake was the 3rd shot.  He should have never brought the byrne into play and either played out sideways or even backwards in some way to be hitting 4 from the fairway.  4 on, 2 putt and win.

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#8 Bye

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 08:51 AM

Watching it at the time was like someone scraping their finger nails down a blackboard/chalkboard.

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#9 larrybud

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 09:03 AM

Anybody think VanDeVelde was really rooting for Sergio in 07 when Harrington made double?  At least he wouldn't have been alone in meltdowns on 18.

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#10 Ferguson

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 09:05 AM

These things just happen, Eh, Pieter?


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#11 south_side_lefty

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 09:10 AM

View PostFerguson, on 10 July 2018 - 09:05 AM, said:

These things just happen, Eh, Pieter?


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#12 MtlJeff

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 09:12 AM

I don't feel bad for him. He embraced it and joked about it, and probably became MORE famous because of it. He really took the loss gracefully and didn't get bitter, and I think a lot of people remember that. I would imagine his marketing opportunities and endorsements were comparable to if he had won

Now I'm sure he'd prefer to have won. But I don't think he cries himself to sleep. He seems to really own the result

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#13 Shilgy

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 09:34 AM

View PostKing_Slender, on 10 July 2018 - 08:38 AM, said:

View PostCactusGolf, on 10 July 2018 - 08:10 AM, said:

I forgot to watch that last night.  Hopefully will be on replay.


What was the relationship between player and caddy like?  I would have hoped that the caddy would have influenced the decision more.

The caddie was on the special.  Their thought process was that 2-iron got him over the byrne and even if he hit it in the bleachers, he would get a free drop.  Jamie Diaz even commented that he thought it was the right play as soon as he saw how good a lie he had on his drive.

I think the BIG mistake was the 3rd shot.  He should have never brought the byrne into play and either played out sideways or even backwards in some way to be hitting 4 from the fairway.  4 on, 2 putt and win.
Exactly what I have been saying for years when folks try to say he choked.  He got perhaps the worst break of all time when that ball bounced back. He had no good layup on the second shot so as long as he cleared the burn he was golden-even from the bleachers, as you mention, he would get a free drop.  Instead he hits that skinny pole AND bounces straight back into the hay.

The rest is history.
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#14 AmazinBlue

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 11:18 AM

His caddy is one to blame.  He should have taken the driver out of his hands and made him play for 5.  I know the player is supposed to be the smart one here, but the moment was obviously too big for Jean.
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#15 finleysg

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 11:22 AM

He mentioned that he most regrets the choice about the third shot. Wished he had gone sideways.

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#16 sekrah

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 11:27 AM

View PostAmazinBlue, on 10 July 2018 - 11:18 AM, said:

His caddy is one to blame.  He should have taken the driver out of his hands and made him play for 5.  I know the player is supposed to be the smart one here, but the moment was obviously too big for Jean.

The driver was the least of the problems.  He was sitting gorgeous after his drive (lucky, but gorgeous).

View Postfinleysg, on 10 July 2018 - 11:22 AM, said:

He mentioned that he most regrets the choice about the third shot. Wished he had gone sideways.

This makes sense as the decision to blame the most.

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#17 HercNav

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 11:44 AM

I literally canít even watch it; Iím afraid that somehow Iíll get an incurable case of the yips or shanks or something

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#18 MilkyButterCuts

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 11:53 AM

He really did take it so gracefully, I can't imagine many people could handle that like he did. IMO that's what redeems him. Most people would hang up the clubs for good. Jean said "it was only one day in my life". Even if he was lying it was extremely convincing.

Great person and golfer who got a horrible break and didn't feel sorry for himself what so ever. THAT is a truly a valiant man.


Now with that being said I absolutely hated how the GC put that piece together. Could've been done so much better. Why the ******-bag NYC bartender??

Edited by MilkyButterCuts, 10 July 2018 - 11:54 AM.


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#19 Brass_Bullseye

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 01:09 PM

Apparently he fired the caddie a few weeks later for giving him a bad yardage at another tournament.  Surprisingly, they have remained friends.  Van de Velde seems like a pretty solid guy.
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#20 King_Slender

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 01:12 PM

View PostShilgy, on 10 July 2018 - 09:34 AM, said:


Exactly what I have been saying for years when folks try to say he choked.  He got perhaps the worst break of all time when that ball bounced back. He had no good layup on the second shot so as long as he cleared the burn he was golden-even from the bleachers, as you mention, he would get a free drop.  Instead he hits that skinny pole AND bounces straight back into the hay.

The rest is history.

It was even worse than that because it wasn't just going backwards - if it goes back into the byrne, he's still hitting 4 and can wedge it on and 2 putt - it's that it hit the top of the wall, bounced OVER the byrne and the shorter stuff where he ultimately dropped and into the hay.  

THAT being said - that was where he made his mistake - should have wedged 3 out into the fairway there instead of trying to clear the byrne.


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#21 Gmack1973

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 01:46 PM

Guys i know im being pedantic but its burn....not byrne!! A burn is the word for  a small stream in Scotland. Byrne is an irish surname! Thanks👍👍

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#22 Shilgy

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 01:52 PM

View PostKing_Slender, on 10 July 2018 - 01:12 PM, said:

View PostShilgy, on 10 July 2018 - 09:34 AM, said:

Exactly what I have been saying for years when folks try to say he choked.  He got perhaps the worst break of all time when that ball bounced back. He had no good layup on the second shot so as long as he cleared the burn he was golden-even from the bleachers, as you mention, he would get a free drop.  Instead he hits that skinny pole AND bounces straight back into the hay.

The rest is history.

It was even worse than that because it wasn't just going backwards - if it goes back into the byrne, he's still hitting 4 and can wedge it on and 2 putt - it's that it hit the top of the wall, bounced OVER the byrne and the shorter stuff where he ultimately dropped and into the hay.  

THAT being said - that was where he made his mistake - should have wedged 3 out into the fairway there instead of trying to clear the byrne.
Except his strategy worked. He did clear the burn and should have had an easy pitch to be on in three.

View PostGmack1973, on 10 July 2018 - 01:46 PM, said:

Guys i know im being pedantic but its burn....not byrne!! A burn is the word for  a small stream in Scotland. Byrne is an irish surname! Thanks����
Guys must have been thinking of "tyres"  :)
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#23 Darth Putter

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 02:10 PM

View PostShilgy, on 10 July 2018 - 09:34 AM, said:

View PostKing_Slender, on 10 July 2018 - 08:38 AM, said:

View PostCactusGolf, on 10 July 2018 - 08:10 AM, said:

I forgot to watch that last night.  Hopefully will be on replay.


What was the relationship between player and caddy like?  I would have hoped that the caddy would have influenced the decision more.

The caddie was on the special.  Their thought process was that 2-iron got him over the byrne and even if he hit it in the bleachers, he would get a free drop.  Jamie Diaz even commented that he thought it was the right play as soon as he saw how good a lie he had on his drive.

I think the BIG mistake was the 3rd shot.  He should have never brought the byrne into play and either played out sideways or even backwards in some way to be hitting 4 from the fairway.  4 on, 2 putt and win.
Exactly what I have been saying for years when folks try to say he choked.  He got perhaps the worst break of all time when that ball bounced back. He had no good layup on the second shot so as long as he cleared the burn he was golden-even from the bleachers, as you mention, he would get a free drop.  Instead he hits that skinny pole AND bounces straight back into the hay.

The rest is history.

I agree that was the horrible break.

At least name that one the Jean Van De Velde Stand during the tournament at Carnoustie.


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#24 farmer

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 02:56 PM

View PostAmazinBlue, on 10 July 2018 - 11:18 AM, said:

His caddy is one to blame.  He should have taken the driver out of his hands and made him play for 5.  I know the player is supposed to be the smart one here, but the moment was obviously too big for Jean.
When I was watching, I had exactly the same thought.  Caddie breaks the long clubs, gives him a 5 iron and two wedges.  Easy 5, might have made 4.

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#25 tiderider

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 03:09 PM

View PostAmazinBlue, on 10 July 2018 - 11:18 AM, said:

His caddy is one to blame.  He should have taken the driver out of his hands and made him play for 5.  I know the player is supposed to be the smart one here, but the moment was obviously too big for Jean.
the caddy is french ... an english or scotsmen would've talked till they were blue in the face to convince jvv not to hit driver, not to hit 2-iron ...

the caddy is french ...


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#26 dlygrisse

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 03:34 PM

With a few holes left to play, thinking it was over, I left home for my tee time.  When I got to the clubhouse he was teeing off on 18....so I stood there watching the madness and the playoff in the pro shop.  It was painful and fascinating at the same time.
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#27 Man_O_War

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 03:50 PM

it's just one of these thing in life...when you think..how could any one..any one be so stupid...then you remember it's golf and life..and he was choking waaayyy before he got to the 18th tee. total brain sh*t
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#28 Man_O_War

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 03:52 PM

View PostDarth Putter, on 10 July 2018 - 02:10 PM, said:

View PostShilgy, on 10 July 2018 - 09:34 AM, said:

View PostKing_Slender, on 10 July 2018 - 08:38 AM, said:

View PostCactusGolf, on 10 July 2018 - 08:10 AM, said:

I forgot to watch that last night.  Hopefully will be on replay.


What was the relationship between player and caddy like?  I would have hoped that the caddy would have influenced the decision more.

The caddie was on the special.  Their thought process was that 2-iron got him over the byrne and even if he hit it in the bleachers, he would get a free drop.  Jamie Diaz even commented that he thought it was the right play as soon as he saw how good a lie he had on his drive.

I think the BIG mistake was the 3rd shot.  He should have never brought the byrne into play and either played out sideways or even backwards in some way to be hitting 4 from the fairway.  4 on, 2 putt and win.
Exactly what I have been saying for years when folks try to say he choked.  He got perhaps the worst break of all time when that ball bounced back. He had no good layup on the second shot so as long as he cleared the burn he was golden-even from the bleachers, as you mention, he would get a free drop.  Instead he hits that skinny pole AND bounces straight back into the hay.

The rest is history.

I agree that was the horrible break.

At least name that one the Jean Van De Velde Stand during the tournament at Carnoustie.


This may be the best putt ever made for a triple bogey.

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that's a man spitting choke through every hole on his body
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#29 Awsi Dooger

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 05:03 PM

View PostKing_Slender, on 10 July 2018 - 07:47 AM, said:

I was watching the recap of the '99 Open at Carnoustie on Golf Channel last night and saw something I hadn't seen before on Van de Velde's debacle on 18.  We all know that he hit his drive right and then made the decision to hit 2 iron instead of wedge-wedge.  I knew his ball hit the bleachers and then came back into the rough, but saw a new picture I hadn't seen before.

They showed the mark where his ball hit the bleachers and it literally hit a piece of metal that was about 4"x4" that jutted out perpendicular to the bleachers (think of it like a basketball backboard) and that is why the ball came straight back, THEN hit about a 6" wide piece of the wall on the byrne, jumping over maybe 10 yards of manageable rough into the hay.  

I had never seen the ball mark on the bleachers but, the idiocy of not hitting wedge-wedge 3-putt to win aside, it had to be the all-time worst break in golf.  If his ball had even just landed in the byrne, he probably wedges 4 on and 2 putts to victory and if he hits anywhere other than that 4x4" piece of metal, his ball probably doesn't even bounce backwards.

Many of us have emphasized this for decades. It was arguably the worst luck in sports history combined with the worst announcing. Mike Tirico and Curtis Strange were all-time inept on the call. That's partially why the events are remembered so poorly by the typical golf fan, including here. Tirico and Strange obsessed over the decisions instead of the impossibly low odds attached to that ricochet. Once the second shot cleared the hazard the opportunity to lose should have been all but gone. Johnny Miller pointed it out at the time in a written piece. I'm sure he was going nuts at home as other announcers were absolutely butchering one of the most memorable set of shots in golf history.

Tirico, to his credit, has later recognized his error and does point out the severe bad luck every time the topic surfaces these days.

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#30 Sean2

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 08:30 PM

I didn't watch it. I had no interest in watching that debacle again. I felt really bad for the guy.

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